A Prison Evening by Faiz Ahmad Faiz
A Prison Evening is a poem written by Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1911-1984). The poem is a touching lyric meditation by lover. It talks about how the lonely prisoner finds appropriate meanings for what he perceives, how each object in nature seems to act or behave in a manner which the observes understands. As the title says, the poem is about a prisoner thinking about his lover and writing few lines in her remembrance.
What gives strength and hope to this love is his capacity for reading nature, the stars, the moon, the trees, the dark green shadows – each telling him something that fits a patters or forms a familiar shape in his mind. The separation, surely is hard to bear. But the evening speculations involving nature's effects are consoling. No tyrant can imprison a poet or his imagination. Lovers might be kept from each other, but their love/imagination knows no separation or confinement.
The poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz was born in Punjab. Although he migrated to Pakistan where he worked as a journalist, in 1951 he was arrested for suspected involvement in the Rawalpindi conspiracy. He spent four years in prison in the early 1950s, an was jailed again by the Bhutto Government in 1958. he is remembered for his daring and sophisticated use of Arabic and Persian poetic forms. Inspired by socialist ideals and radical thinking, Faiz has written hundreds of poems in which conventional themes and images take a new revolutionary gusto and splendour. His love poems are both tender and defiant. Individual freedom and social reform were dear to him. He fought tyranny relentlessly.
In the beginning of the poem, the poet shows that the prisoner is suffering from loneliness after being separated from his lady love. He find solace in the nature by seeing the evening's star as well as a cool breeze passes by o say that someone has spoken a word of love to him. Away from his home, sitting in the prison yard, trees with his head bent down, the prisoner is absorbed in interpreting different images and pictures in the evening sky. He could also see the glittering effect of the gracious moonlight on the roof of prison building.
With the coming of morning, the brightness of the stars disappeared into the dust and the blue of the sky dissolved into the light. By seeing these, the prisoner sitting in the green comers began to waver. He could feel the ripples of pain for separation from his lover ere coming into his heart.
The poet's realization that this one evening experience in prison cannot be equal to anything else in the world. He called it strangely sweet moment of life because only he knows what it is to miss his lady love. Yet he realize that no tyrant can effectively destroy their love for each other. Even though they are able to put out the lamps of bridal union, they cannot extinguish the moon, as it is always there to acknowledge the lovers.
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A Prison Evening by Faiz Ahmad Faiz
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