‘Raat Yun Dil Mein Teri’ by Faiz Ahmed Faiz


As the spring quietly sweeps a barren land,
As a cool breeze glides over the desert sand,
As gentle relief visits the one who is ill,
So last night your memory my thoughts did fill.



Raat yun dil mein teri khoyi hui yaad aayi
Jaise viraane mein chupke se bahaar aa jaye
Jaise sahraon mein haule se chale baad-ae-naseem
Jaise bimaar ko be-wajaah quraar aa jaaye



I read this poem long ago in my youth without knowing who wrote it, it impressed me so much that I sought out who the author was (something I wasn’t wont to do). Even in my immaturity, I could appreciate the profound simplicity and the symmetry of the composition.

A tender poem by Faiz- It evokes many emotions; the parallels he draws of the lonely lovelorn soul with the parched desert, the hopeless wasteland and the suffering patient are deeply moving. In the original, the four lines resound with existentialist longing, the despair of solitude, and the succor of hope; something I pray I have conveyed a little bit.

I’ve inverted the order of the some of the verses in an attempt to preserve the impact of the original. I think the translation works better like this.


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