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Agha Shahid Ali Presentation

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Sarah Parlette

on 24 April 2013

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Transcript of Agha Shahid Ali Presentation

Basic Biography b. 4 February 1948
d. 8 December 2001 Comparision Poet of Life
Presented by Sarah Parlette Agha Shahid Ali Background Poetry and Influences Religious background as a Muslim
Kashmir Conflict (still on-going)
Political violence from India and Pakistan over Kashmir
Multi-ethnic heritage Born in New Delhi, India
but was raised in Srinagar,
Son of a wealthy family Very well educated
Bachelors (University of Kashmir, Delhi)
Masters of Fine Arts ( University of Arizona)
PhD in English (Pennsylvania State) Publications Call Me Ishmael Tonight: A Book of Ghazals (2003),
Rooms Are Never Finished (2001), Bone Scultupre (1972)
The Country Without a Post Office (1997), Poems (1979)
The Beloved Witness: Selected Poems (1992),
A Nostalgist's Map of America (1991),
The Half-Inch Himalayas (1987), In Memory of Begum Akhtar and Other (1979) Translations The Rebel's Silhouette: Selected Poems
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1992) Poet and Professor in both India and the US Ghazals - poems with 5 or more rhyming couplets as well as one refrain Ancient Arabic form of poetry in which one expresses the sorrow and pain of loss/separation but also of love and beauty of the hope at being reunited. Nominations/ Awards National Book Award for Poetry
Pushcart Prize
Numerous Fellowships Is actually considered an American Poet Final Couplet contains a name (probably the poets) Couplets do not have to match in ideas or subjects "guzzles" Bilingual in English and Urdu Came to the US in 1975 Ali blended American free verse and ghazal traditions Land

Swear by the olive in the God-kissed land—
There is no sugar in the promised land.

Why must the bars turn neon now when, Love,
I’m already drunk in your capitalist land?

If home is found on both sides of the globe,
home is of course here—and always a missed land.

The hour’s come to redeem the pledge (not wholly?) in Fate’s "Long years ago we made a tryst" land.

Clearly, these men were here only to destroy,
a mosque now the dust of a prejudiced land.

Will the Doomsayers die, bitten with envy,
when springtime returns to our dismissed land?

The prisons fill with the cries of children.
Then how do you subsist, how do you persist, Land?

“Is my love nothing for I’ve borne no children?
I’m with you, Sappho, in that anarchist land.

A hurricane is born when the wings flutter ... Where will the butterfly, on my wrist, land?

You made me wait for one who wasn’t even there though summer had finished in that tourist land.

Do the blind hold temples close to their eyes
when we steal their gods for our atheist land?

Abandoned bride, Night throws down her jewels
so Rome—on our descent—is an amethyst land.

At the moment the heart turns terrorist,are Shahid’s arms broken, O Promised Land? City
Swear by the art in the Ford museum-
There is no rush in the sleepy city.

Why must the bars be closed on Wealthy, bro-
I’m not yet drunk of your liquid city?

If “home” is neither the café or in the brick buildings,
then it not for me in this homely city.

The hours pass by while I sit and write,
taking in the noise and sights of the downtown city.

Clearly those men are here only for Art Prize
to envelope in their eyes this youthful city.

Will the strict, religious populations turn down their lips at us,
when we prance in full regalia down your streeted city?

The restaurants fill with the laughs of students
Then how do I find myself a place to park in this jam-packed city?

The clouds blew in stringing along the rain and snow
Where will we go when the river overflows in this flooded city?

In a moment of joy, one trips a falls flat.
Sarah picks herself up, and curses the crumbling city.
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