Nishi Gillani

Noshi Gillani is a Pakistani poet who writes in Urdu. Born in 1964 Gillani's  fifth collection of poems: Ay Meeray Shureek-E-Risal-E-Jaan, Hum Tera Intezaar Kurtay Rahey (O My Beloved, I Kept Waiting for You) was published in Pakistan in 2008. The candor and frankness of her highly-charged poems is unusual for a woman writing in Urdu and she has gained a committed international audience, performing regularly at large poetry gatherings in Pakistan, Australia, Canada and the US. Unknown outside the Pakistani community, the translations made by the Poetry in Translation Centre mark her introduction to an English-speaking audience.

Source: Poetry in Translation Centre: http://www.poetrytranslation.org/poets/Noshi_Gillani.

Insight

I have a feeling
That wherever I glance
There will be disaster

The literal translation of this poem was made by Nukhbah Langah
The final translated version of the poem is by Lavinia Greenlaw

Can Someone Bring Me My Entire Being?

Can someone bring me my entire being?
My arms, my eyes, my face?

I am a river flowing into the wrong sea
If only someone could restore me to the desert

Life goes on but I want no more from it
Than my childhood, my firefly, my doll

My vision does not admit this new season
Take me back to my old dream

Of finding one face among the many in my city
Whose eyes can read deep into me

My life has been a boat in a whirlpool for so long
O god, please let it sink or drift back to the desert

The literal translation of this poem was made by Nukhbah Langah
The final translated version of the poem is by Lavinia Greenlaw



The Wind, Too, Can Change Direction

Do you know?
The wind, too, can change direction
The birds might leave their nests at dawn
And forget to find their way back
Sometimes in spring the tree branches out
Before autumn the leaves separate
Like the paths my life takes
Blown this way and that like dust
The strange smile taking shape on your lips
Says 'So, what's new?'
Of everything in the story, you are new
Do you know?
But how could you know this?
Your encampment of love and faith
Could blow away like dust
The wind, too, can change direction

The literal translation of this poem was made by Nukhbah Langah
The final translated version of the poem is by Lavinia Greenlaw