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Mainstream, VOL L, No 1, December 24, 2011 (Annual 2011)

Lines on the Massacres in East Pakistan, March 1971

Tuesday 27 December 2011, by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

This is how my sorrow became visible:
in dust, piling up for years in my heart,
finally reached my eyes,
the bitterness now so clear that
I had to listen when my friends
told me to wash my eyes with blood
Everything at once was tangled in blood---
each face, each idol, red everywhere.
Blood swept over the sun, washing away its gold.
The moon erupted with blood, its silver extinguished.
The sky promised a morning of blood,
and the night wept only blood....
Let it flow. Should it be dammed up,
there will only be hatred cloaked in colours of death.
Don’t let this happen, my friends,
bring all my tears back instead,
a flood to purify my dust-filled eyes,
to wash this blood forever from my eyes.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
[Lines on the Massacres in East Pakistan, March 1971]
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