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The Dew is among Kamil's earliest poems written in a sonnet form when he was under the influence of the progressive writers movement. It appeared in his first collection of poems mas malar published in early 1950s. Prof. J. L. Koul writes about this sonnet "Even in this lovely little poem on the dew, the poet cannot resist having his progressive fling at the reactionary priest and his temple and mosque. There is, however, a search for metaphors and similes that have the striking quality of newness as against the repetitiveness of traditional imagery." Now, far away from that movement, we can see beyond the narrow lense and discover the optimism and celebration of joy that permeates this little poem. This translation appeared in Studies in Kashmiri by J. L. Koul in 1968.

Read The Dew in original Kashmiri.


In Water

Cities on Fire

The Dew

The Dew
Amin Kamil

Into the garden quietly came the dew
last night. It had sad news to tell.
Throughout the night it said
what every priest in mosque and temple says,
into the flower’s ear whispering as it wept:
“Mortal is the world,
evanescent its laughter and its joys.
With a cry we come, with a wail we go.”

The morning sun came up,
mind’s mistiness cleared and eyes did see around.
The dew—it shrank with fear,
the dark night’s messenger had fled.
The flowers laughed, the buds—
they clapped for joy and burst into bloom.

Translated from the Kashmiri by J. L. Koul

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