Faiz Ahmad Faiz

Faiz Ahmad Faiz (February 13, 1911 – November 20, 1984), was a left-wing intellectual, revolutionary poet, and one of the most famous poets of the Urdu language from Pakistan.

A notable member of the Progressive Writers’ Movement, Faiz was an avowed Marxist. Listed four times for the Nobel Prize in poetry, he received the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union in 1962. Despite being repeatedly accused of atheism by the political and military establishment, Faiz’s poetry suggested a more nuanced relationship with religion in general and with Islam in particular. He was, in fact, greatly inspired by South Asia’s Sufi traditions.

BE NEAR ME
Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Be near me now,
My tormenter, my love, be near me—
At this hour when night comes down,
When, having drunk from the gash of sunset, darkness comes
With the balm of musk in its hands, its diamond lancets,
When it comes with cries of lamentation,
with laughter with songs;
Its blue-gray anklets of pain clinking with every step.
At this hour when hearts, deep in their hiding places,
Have begun to hope once more, when they start their vigil
For hands still enfolded in sleeves;
When wine being poured makes the sound
of inconsolable children
who, though you try with all your heart,
cannot be soothed.
When whatever you want to do cannot be done,
When nothing is of any use;
—At this hour when night comes down,
When night comes, dragging its long face,
dressed in mourning,
Be with me,
My tormenter, my love, be near me.