Sunday, May 27, 2012

Songs of Peace: Pakistan/America

A Pakistan boy is silhouetted against sunset while he transports wood to be used as a fuel for cooking and heating in the cold weather on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed) This photo can cause deep reflection for any who would
seek peace in this part of the world.  For just one reason to pause: what are leaders of the US and others doing in good faith with care to residents of this region so that this boy may have a future worth living or even a future at all?

Among famous Pakistan poem-songs is a close parallel to a famous American song (see below this one) that reads rather like an inspired adaptation by one of the most popular Urdu poets, Qateel Shifai (1919-2001). It is a poem that was rendered to music by A. Hameed and sung by Mehdi Hasan which can be roughly translated as:
People are uniqiue, but the longing is one and the same:
We all look different but blood is of the same hue.
This attire which you hold so dear, my friends,
It is but a thing to cover the bare realities, my friends,
Otherwise the honor and shame of all here is the same.
Even today I am hearing that song in every city and town,
That can enchant even this indifferent and cruel world,
Each and every song coming forth is striking the same note.
The whole universe is created from the essence of Love:
Ask your heart if you do not believe me,
For the tune and melody of every inner voice is the same.

That every soul is to be held in high esteem,
Hearts should be free of hate, and everyone respected:
In this war to attain that respect, we are all on the same side.
There are many songs about changing the world but what is special about these two poems are that they don't feed on hatred and violence in order to defy a corrupt world order. At the same time they do not lose touch with reality, nor preach weakness and escapist sentiment. They reinforce patience and hope, and the certainty that moral force will eventually win - there is no way it can lose in the end.

Here is the American one mentioned:

'This Is My Song' written by the American poet Lloyd Stone (1912-1993) to the tune of the Finlandia melody from the Finnish composer Jean Sybelius (1865-1957) is one of the best-loved statements of world peace which does not oversimplify the concept:
This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh hear my song, oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.
May truth and freedom come to every nation;
may peace abound where strife has raged so long;
that each may seek to love and build together,
a world united, righting every wrong;
a world united in its love for freedom,
proclaiming peace together in one song.

This post is almost exactly like part of one posted by Khurram Ali Shafique Sahib in
his website Republic of Rumi -- see his blogpost on Consensus and great Pakistani poets/writers under a section named Qateel Shifai.  There are other posts Shafique Sahib has written on Consensus Literature and that others have written on this concept named by him.  See the Comments now and later which I hope will have more leads soon.

The 2nd image called "Self-Same Sky" was used for a children's science exhibit -- the words a take off on a Shakespeare sonnet -- and found here


CN said...

For a curious unknown reason, two distant yet close friends from across the world just recently commented on this older post:

So I decided to feature the same today -- Sunday 27 May 2012 -- with the hopes we might begin a little conversation about the topic and perhaps share others such poems & songs.

We've never needed these more than now.

CN said...

Readers, do let us know of other links/leads to either this topic of world longing for peace captured by certain poets and/or to
Consensus Literature.

Khurram Ali Shafique said...

Thanks :)