Sunday, June 05, 2011

1502 : Paradise from “Country without a postoffice” by Agha Shahid Ali (from Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie)

If you ever hear (not read) Shalimar the clown by Salman Rushdie, you shall be stuck by the fantastic recital of “Paradise” – a poem by Agha Shahid Ali from his collection – A country without a postoffice.

This poem is read by the narrator Aasif Mandvi and appears as part of the author’s prologue.

Hearing this poem, makes you believe that to write well is to weave magic, to read what is written well – is indeed Paradise Smile

Have reproduced the text of the prologue below. Goes straight into the list of my top 10 fav poems.

I am being rowed through paradise on a river of hell:
Exquisite ghost, it is night.

The paddle is a heart; it breaks the porcelain waves…..
I’m everything you lost. You won’t forgive me.
My memory keeps getting in the way of your history.
There is nothing to forgive. You won’t forgive me.
I hid my pain even from myself; I revealed my pain
only to myself.

There is everything to forgive. You can’t forgive me.
If only somehow you could have been mine,
What would not have been possible in the world?

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