Poet Zeeshan Sahil: Life and Works

Some links to comemorate Zeeshan Sahil’s life and his creative work; from a message forwarded by Ajmal Kamal.

From: Khuda Bux Abro <abro@khi.comsats.net.pk>
Date: Sun, Apr 13, 2008 at 1:09 PM
Subject: [People’sResistance] Eminent Urdu Poet Zeeshan Sahil is no more
To: all@talk.pakvoices.net

Eminent Urdu Poet Zeeshan Sahil is no more

Twelve poems by Zeeshan Sahil

“If I did not write poetry then I would not have done anything. Writing
poetry is my vocation and not a hobby or habit.. Perhaps from the age of
ten or twelve I started to write bits and pieces, a major part of which
was poetry. I did not give much thought to education or making money which
I sometimes regret But poetry took hold of me gradually, so now the fact
that I am a poet gives me great pleasure.”

This is Zeeshan Sahil, the shy, almost ethereal poet whose collection of
poems on Karachi, entitled Karachi aur doosri nazme, is a poignant
documentation of the city torn apart by murder, political revenge and
civil carnage in the nineties. Published in 1995 these poems confirmed
Sahil as a first rate poet.

Zeeshan Sahil, an Urdu poet once wrote of our city, our home, “It is a lie
that in Karachi, after the rain, the sprouting grass doesn’t have blades
deep green and soft. Or that the trees do not give shade without the help
of clouds … With us in Karachi live birds who fly from trees through the
sound of bullets and bombs; perch on walls; always they gather somewhere
to pray. Our books don’t wait inside cupboards for termites. Now our
hearts swim these seas where once our eyes searched for golden flowers and
our hands tear down the walls that once buried us alive”. This, like the
calling of Sahil’s birds, is a prayer for us and for our city, our home.
Let us await the day that our hands tear down those walls; it won’t be

Also, view these:





Poet Zeeshan Sahil is no more!

This was the title yesterday of the editor of ‘Aaj’, Ajmal Kamal’s message from Karachi; and, it said this:

“Zeeshan Sahil suddenly died today, 12 April 2008, around 6 pm. His funeral will be held on Sunday, 13 April 2008 at 12:30 pm at Masjid Khair-ul-Amal, Ancholi Society, Federal B Area, Karachi.

“For condolences: (00-92) 4011150” (ajmalkamal@gmail.com)

Today, Publisher Hoori Noorani (Maktabai Danyal, Karachi) sent this poem:

by Zeeshan Sahil

Wishing to become a tree
I became one
But could not afford shelter
To anyone

No bird perched on my branches
To sing
No squirrel made its home
In my trunk

The dew did not glimmer
On my green leaves
And for thousands of years
Even the termites kept away

Wishing to become a path
I became instead a bridge
Those who crossed over me
I never saw again

I was not set aflame in the war
Or hacked to pieces
That floated along in the distance
Keeping each other company

Wishing to become the sea
I became a solitary teardrop
Making its home
In a handkerchief
That was not clasped
To anyone’s breast
Not wrapped around
Anyone’s wrist
No one burnt it to ashes
To salve a wound

Wishing to become a story
I became a word
Falling from ashen lips
To spin forever
In the vortex
Echo in the wind
Remain buried
In someone’s breast

Urdu Poem by Zeeshan Sahil
Translated into English by Tehmina Ahmed