Ode To Warris Shah

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Warris Shah (1730-1790), is the celebrated composer of  Kissa Heer. Top among the Kissa writers of Punjab, Shah has become an icon of Punjabi culture. The ballad of Heer had been composed by many but now it is only Shah’s composition that is remembered, such was the spirit of his poetry that captures the legend as none else did.

 heer-ranjha.jpg

Heer Ranjha, picture from: http://www.museindia.com/showcont.asp?id=69

 Kissa Heer has about 600 stanzas, and is charged in emotion, has variety, and employs a fold idiom. Read Warris Shah’s profile at museindia 

Ode To Warris Shah – Amrita Pritam
Translated by Darshan Singh Maini

I say to Waris Shah today, speak from your grave
And add a new page to your book of love

Once one daughter of Punjab wept, and you wrote your long saga;
Today thousands weep, calling to you Waris Shah:

Arise, o friend of the afflicted; arise and see the state of Punjab,
Corpses strewn on fields, and the Chenaab flowing with much lood.
 

Someone filled the five rivers with poison,
And this same water now irrigates our soil.

Where was lost the flute, where the songs of love sounded?
And all Ranjha’s brothers forgotten to play the flute.

Blood has rained on the soil, graves are oozing with blood,
The princesses of love cry their hearts out in the graveyards.
 

Today all the Quaido’ns have become the thieves of love and beauty,
Where can we find another one like Waris Shah?
Waris Shah!

I say to you, speak from your grave
And add a new page to your book of love.

From: Darshan Singh Maini:  STUDIES IN PUNJABI POETRY

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