A poem I’ve read and reread so many times

Today again a thought goes hunting for a word.

A word filled with venom, sultry with honey,
heavy with love, and smashing with fury.

The word of love which is brilliant as a glance,
which greets the eye like a kiss on the lips,
bright as a summer river, its surface streaming
gold, joyous as the moment when the beloved
arrives for the appointed meeting.

The word of rage which is a ferocious blade that
brings down for all time the oppressor’s
citadel. The word that is dark as the night of
a crematorium; the one, if I bring it to my
lips, would blacken them forever.

Today every instrument is forsaken by its melody,
and the singer’s voice goes searching for its
singer. Today the chords of every harp are
shredded like a madman’s shirt. Today the
people beg each gust of wind to bring any sound at
all, even a lamentation, even a scream of anguish,
or the last trump crying the hour of doom.

Today again a thought goes hunting for a word.

– Faiz Ahmad Faiz; translator/interpreter unknown

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