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In Water is from Kamil's fifth collection of peoms yim myane sokhan 2007 (These My Words). This English translation of the ghazal appeared in a recent international anthology of poems Language for a New Century -- Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond published by W. W. Norton & Company, New York. The collection includes four poets from Kashmir.

Read In Water in original Kashmiri.


In Water

Cities on Fire

Despite Insight

The Dew

Cities on Fire
Amin Kamil

What fire is this, O Lord? City after city is burning.
The reason turned into pitch-smoke, ifs and buts are burning.

The roof's aflame, the walls come down, the rooms ablaze
Houses light up houses, person after person is burning.

Like a scorching desert it sucks the moisture from the eyes.
Even the sighs can’t have an effect, effects are burning.

Every thoughtful mind’s tranquil is smoldering within.
Faces have turned black as coal and the hearts are burning.

The split seconds are catching the sparks-- a lot to brave!
The moment's like an ember-burnt hole and the time's burning.

The mountains crack and rocks melt just like wax.
The brooks bubble along the course with waters burning.

(draft translation; under revision)

Translated from the Kashmiri by Muneebur Rahman

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