Size / / /

I was able to embellish in my (uni-)verse                         All that you and I had ever shared.
Your complexion and fragrance, beauty and virtue,
                From these alone arose all metaphors.

Before I had the comfort of your words, your promises,
                I could only ever rely on others.             On strangers.

The number of rubies and gems                          That you had used to pierce my heart,
            Or, the number of stars that stretch across the sky—
                    Every single one of these fell right into my lap.
                    And you still betrayed the promise of being mine.
                    And I never could receive eternal life’s benediction.


Faiz Ahmed Faiz MBE NI (1911-1984) was one of the foremost Urdu poets of the 20th century. A member of the All Pakistan Progressive Writers' Association, he has been celebrated both for his poetic craft and his progressive politics. (Copyright of his work belongs to the Faiz Foundation Trust)