Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Preliminary Sketch Concerning a Language - Afzal Ahmed Syed

In your language every line begins from an opposite end.
The pronunciation of its words changes from day to night
and their orthography changes with the change of seasons.
A new word enters it on some special day
and on some days a familiar word is made obsolete.
The shape of its letters changes with your change of clothes.
You make no effort to put together words
that are crushed under feet from your carelessness,
because your language is the world's richest.
The first kiss, the second kiss and any count of kisses
are all identified in your language with separate words.
If anything ever causes you to become tearful,
all the books in the whole world written in your language become drenched.

Afzal Ahmed Syed (born 1942) Born in Pakistan, lives in India
Translated from the Urdu by Musharraf Ali Farooqi

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