May 16 2018

Faiz Ahmad Faiz – Bol – Speak

Published by at 7:58 am under Poetry

Bol – Speak
by Faiz Ahmad Faiz

English version by Ivan M. Granger

Speak! Your words are free.
Speak! Your tongue is still your own.

Your body is yours, strong and straight.

Speak! Your life is still your own.

Look! In the forge’s flames,
how your steel glows red.
See how the locked doors have opened
and every chain breaks.

Speak! The time left to you is enough.
Before body and tongue give out.
Speak! For truth still survives
Speak! Say what is in your heart!

/ Image by melaniumom /

It is worth taking some time to really pay attention to the news and some of the troubling events taking place right now. But it takes a deeper reading than we get in most US news sources to have a sense of what is really happening. The killing of the Palestinian protesters in Gaza in the wake of the US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The decision by the US to unilaterally break the Iran nuclear agreement, which was the only real reason the Iranian government had to cooperate. The US government tightening its alliances with the extremist governments in Saudi Arabia and Israel, who seem to want to foment a war with Iran.

Events can unfold in several different directions, some terrible to contemplate.

In such moments, the temptation is to turn away, to shut the heart down, to focus exclusively on our own lives, our own families and circle of friends. I would suggest that we can handle more than we think we can. The heart, to be whole, must break a thousand times and be ready to break again. An empathic heart is what keeps us alive and on the spiritual path. A feeling heart reaches out to embrace even those outside our circles of familiarity, expanding our own sense of who we are.

And we have bodies, vehicles of action in the world. They are meant to express that awakened heart. They are meant to help, to soothe, to show kindness, to stop harm, for that is what the heart wishes.

And we can speak. For speaking is an act of the living, an affirmation of one’s humanity. Speaking is about connection, sharing one’s state of mind that we may meet one another in the currents of truth.

Speak! For truth still survives
Speak! Say what is in your heart!

Though speech we touch each other, heart to heart.


Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Faiz Ahmad Faiz poetry, Muslim / Sufi poetry Faiz Ahmad Faiz

Pakistan (1911 – 1984) Timeline
Muslim / Sufi

More poetry by Faiz Ahmad Faiz

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Faiz Ahmad Faiz – Bol – Speak”

  1. Patricia Zimbreson 16 May 2018 at 9:49 am

    Good one, Ivan.
    I was happy to see someone from the spiritual circles speak out against the horror that is now taking place. Not a time to “get lost in The Void”, right?

  2. jim carlinon 16 May 2018 at 11:28 am

    when interviewed a Grand Master Ballarina that had defected after a performance and took the entire company with him said “I have no words–that is why I dance”
    we each have skills–the point is to use them-j carlin md

  3. Mandla Mchunuon 18 May 2018 at 4:20 am

    Dear Ivan,
    I am sure the entire human race, with a few exceptions perhaps, condemns the act of violence in Gaza. As a South African, whenever injustice is perpetrated by one on another on grounds of delusionary supremacy it makes my blood boil. The response of our government has been swift and decisive. We withdrew our ambassador, are considering firing their ambassador. We reject this act of senseless aggression.
    This world over time has seen the worst of repressive regimes crumble, the indestructible of tyrants wither and die. We’ve seen acts of inhumanity fanning the flames of revolutions. The Israel regime may be on such a trajectory, where a gust of wind of extremism seems to be uplifting, making the regime even more bolder, but only for it to come down crashing when none expect.
    This is our world. Whosoever amongst us wishes to dominate us, must first dominate the sun and all the forces on whose account we exist and claim godliness, and the right to overlord us!
    To the Palestinian victims of the massacre, I say: “The sun never sets on justice, time notwithstanding!”
    In this hour of their darkness I wish them the fortitude to see beyond this, to imagine their future and plan for it, to rise and pierce their current horizons.


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