Posted by: Ron DuBour | April 16, 2014

Between the Empty Lines~by Sadiqullah Khan


 

 

Between the Empty Lines

I have not opened these books yet
Their stories are aching,
They are the first step of distance
In the eyes. Half done, some close
To the end, a Saracen’s dried hollow
Wrinkled cheek, some Ibn Khaldun’s.
An imbecile’s retort, to have sold
My gifted ‘The Voices’ by weight.
When I was locuting it to be,
Either the Malquiades book,
Or a page who would tell fortunes
To be dug by lunatics of the courtyard.
And to be found under my pillow,
Like Alexander kept Homer under arm.
‘Collapse’ of Jared M. Diamond
Grained with philosophy, is jarred dark.
It gave me enough courage to speak
Less like Abraham Lincoln, more like
Plato in later years. This was suffice;
Between the empty lines there was
More life, more colors than my utterance.

“If a poet has any obligation toward society, it is to write well. Being in the minority, he has no other choice. Failing this duty, he sinks into oblivion. Society, on the other hand, has no obligation toward the poet. A majority by definition, society thinks of itself as having other options than reading verses, no matter how well written. Its failure to do so results in its sinking to that level of locution at which society falls easy prey to a demagogue or a tyrant. This is society’s own equivalent of oblivion.” Joseph Brodsky

Sadiqullah Khan
Islamabad
April 16, 2014.


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