Let me think

faizLet me think
just for a while…
In that withered garden,
more bare than even a desert now,
which branch first burst into blossom?
And which was the first to lose its colors
before everything succumbed to regret?
At what exact moment
were the trees drained of blood
so when the veins snapped,
nothing could be saved?
Oh, let me think…
Yes, let me think for a while…
Where in that once-teeming city,
forsaken even by loneliness now,
was that fire first lit
that burned it down to ruins?
From which of its blacked-out rows of windows
flew the first arrows, tipped with blood?
In which home was the first candle lit?
Let me think…
You ask me about that country
whose details now escape me.
I don’t remember its geography,
nothing of its history.
And should I visit it in memory,
It would be as I would a past lover,
after years, for a night,
no longer restless with passion, With no fear of regret.
I have reached that age
when one visits the heart merely as a courtesy,
the way one keeps in touch
with any old neighbor.
So don’t question me about the heart.
Just let me think.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz

The poem, originally written in urdu, titled सोचने दो, was later translated by Agha Shahid Ali in the collection titled ‘The Rebel’s Silhouette’. Please find the poem’s Hindi text here.

This poem has a strange ability of reflecting the reader’s mood. The reader can associate the poem with anything that bothers him- his country, events from past, day to day botherations. The overriding theme of time eroding every landscape holds good.


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