Open up your mind and your potential reaches infinity…

Poems by Attiya Dawood

Picture by Abro Khuda Bux

Here’s a translation of some poems by a Sindhi feminist poet Attiya Dawood

A strange woman in the mirror

The strange woman in the mirror, what is she thinking?
I ask her: what is it? She avoids me.
I paint my lips red, she begins to sob.
When I look her in the eyes, she asks me questions
which are even more strange.
Home, husband, children….. I have all that makes up happiness
But I don’t know what she wants.

If Only I knew Nothing

The experienced mind understands everything.
If I keep all my thoughts with me
And put them under lock and key,
Clever eyes come to know everything.
I should put the glasses of ignorance on them.
My sensitive heart
I should refuse ever to consider
All the observations and experiences of the past
Inscribed on my mind
I should wipe it away.
My intelligence becomes a curse for me…
If only I knew nothing.
Holding your hand
I would have continued walking in a dream.
Whatever stories you told me
I would have listened on like a child.
Taking my mind as your kite
You could have given me any direction, any wind
And I would have obeyed.
My intelligence becomes a curse for me…
If only I knew nothing.

A bone-weary truth

Truth is the basis of my creation.
No matter how many times in the name of truth
My being was chopped and cut,
Each time like the amoebae,
Every piece of the portioned-off being
Has become a being by itself.
Whenever I was put on the scaffold in the name of truth
Each time I have taken a new birth,
But this dying and being born every minute
Has made me bone-weary.
I want you, my friend
To take away my being from the cross.
Come in front of me,
Whisper sweet nothings in my ears,
Turn the shackles of hypocrisy
into bangles for my hands,
Love me with such a crushing deceit
That my soul not be able to bear it
And free itself
From my tired being.

About the author:
Attiya Dawood is a voice from the goths and villages of rural Sindh. It is a voice of pain and harrowing anguish. As a rural Sindhi woman she finds deprivation everywhere: she faces oppression piled on oppression. As a woman, oppression of women by men, as a Third World woman, oppression and exploitation by the advanced capitalist countries. As a rural woman she is marginalised in favour of the voice of the first person singular – I, but they are not autobiographical the events written about are not necessarilly drawn from her own life. The poems may be considered a form of dramatic monologue in which she assumes the voice and persona of a suffering woman and articulates the anguish arising out of some concrete situation.
English translations are by Asif Aslam

Source: Courtesy Abro Khuda Bux


Comments on: "Poems by Attiya Dawood" (1)

  1. Attiya dawood has a unique way of expressing her thoughts in words…

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