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‘Salaam Benazir’ By Fahmida Riaz

Fahmida Riaz’s poem ‘Salaam Benazir’ in which she pays glowing tribute to the former prime minister has been translated by Tahira Naqvi.

Salaam Benazir, what a grand life it was,
No enemy could ever vanquish you

Not a sorrow there was you didn’t endure,
No injustice left not inflicted upon you

Salaam, clouds darkened your endless struggle
But you emerged again and again like the sun

Salaam to the fortitude that bore fruit for the public,
No one could shatter the power of your integrity

What a moment that was when you were named,
The name you lifted in your hand and inscribed upon the sky

And today the splendor of the enemies has been shamed
The vanity of the bomb-bearing beasts has been shamed

This name glitters in all four corners of the world
Salaam Benazir,  today we too have prevailed

You bequeathed power to the name of women
Salaam to the land that gave birth to you

There is a strange shrine in one of her villages
Its stones and bricks are white, its soul is red


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