Poetry in Translation

Spring in Kashmir

by Rahman Rahi

And there’s a love-torn couple
In the lap of a shikara on Dal

And there’s a vermilion cloud
In a sapphire sky flirting a peak

And there’s a deodar
With kohl-rimmed eyes

And there’s a tulip
With parched lips

And there’s a wine goblet
Bubbling with pearls

And there’s a black wasp
Digging the heart of lotus

And there’s a whirligig

And there’s a surge
Rising, naturally.

Oh, spirit,
Amidst all this

If you did not hold my hand
And beat in tune

With my pulse,
Would you know

How my unruly heart sings
And an orchestra plays?

* * *

Abdur Rehman Rahi, b.1925, recipient of several top literary awards in India, is the greatest living poet of the Kashmiri language. He has published five collections of poems and seven books of literary criticism in Kashmiri. Rahi lives in Srinagar.

Translated from the original Kashmiri by Rafiq Kathwari for 3QD.