Violins 2006 This English version by Agha Shahid Ali (with Ahmad Dallal), was crafted from the poem of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish:
Violins follow me everywhere in vengeance
Violins seek me out to kill me wherever they find me
Violins weep for Arabs leaving Andalusia
Violins weep with gypsies going to Andalusia
Agha Shahid Ali (आगा शाहीद अली) (1949 - 2001) was an English poet of Kashmiri ancestry and upbringing. His poetry collections include The Half-Inch Himalayas, A Nostalgist's Map of America, The Country Without a Post Office, Rooms Are Never Finished (finalist for the National Book Award, 2001), Call Me Ishmael Tonight, a collection of English ghazals. Ali was also a translator of Faiz Ahmed Faiz (The Rebel's Silhouette; Selected Poems) and editor (Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English). He was widely credited for helping to popularize the ghazal form in America.
Recital at the CCJ, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Caetano Veloso, vocals Jaques Morelenbaum, Cello
Monique Gardenberg, Fernando Grostein Andrade
You Tell Us What to Do2010 after "You Tell Us What to Do," a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz,
translated from Urdu to English by Agha Shahid Ali
When we launched life
on the river of grief,
how vital were our arms, how ruby our blood.
With a few strokes, it seemed,
we would cross all pain,
we would soon disembark.
That didn't happen.
The Dead Are Here 2009 This Poem is the 13th chapter from Shahid's elegy "From Another Desert."
The Arabic love story of Qais and Laila is used. Qais is called Majnoon (literally "possessed" or "mad") because he sacrificed everything for Love.
Tonight the air is many envelopes
again. Tell her to open them at once
and find hurried notes about my longing
for wings. Tell her to speak, when that hour comes,
simply of the sky. Friend, speak of the sky
when that hour comes., Speak, simply, of the air.