The Poetry of Atta Shad… By Anwar Noor
Oman has its own history and glory. Oman is the land where all people are given the opportunities to play their vital and positive roles in building their own career as well as to develop the country. John Kennedy once said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.
Oman is becoming an urbanised state, but the beauty of the nature still exists in many places. It is the nature of the land which attracts and allows people to think in deep and connects with those who are hidden in their own existence and with unspoken nature.
There are many places in Oman which are worth visiting. I have visited so many places where I really tasted the nature and its beauty like Ras Al Hamra, Jabal Shams, Wadi Bani Khalid, Wadi Tiwi, Al Ashkhara, Masirah, Jaalan Bani Bu Ali and Hassan, Nakhal, Rustaq, Dhofar, Ras al Hadd and many more. I enjoyed visiting these places because they connected me with nature. I believe writers, poets and thinkers like such places. If you are one of those, try to have a visit.
Poems, no matter what the language, allow you to think and be satisfied. Poets are great people; they create the courage and open many doors of wisdom and hope. Under this category, there are many names. In the world of Arabs, there are names such as; Mahmood Darwish, Nizar Qabbani, Khalil, Gibran, Ahmed Shouqi and Saif Al Rahbi an Omani poet. In Persian, there are for example; Al Rumi and Omar Al Khayam, who is known of Rubayat of Omar Khayam. In India Mirza Ghalib is unforgettable name to everyone. All these people have become institutions in the field of literature and poetry.
Atta Shad (1939-1997) who is the subject of this topic was one of those poets who made nature to speak. He started writing poems in Urdu at first, and then moved to Balochi language, which is his mother language. He is the father of Balochi poetry after Mulla Fazul, from Makuran who visited Oman around 18th century and liked it very much and had composed a poem mentioning most of the names of wilayats of Oman, starting from Sohar and finishing at Muscat. At the end of the poem he praised the ruler of Oman.
Atta Shad brought revolution in Balochi poetry with different thinking and style, which was not there before. He became a big name in the Balochi poetry. He published many books, some of these are; (Rochgir — Collection of Balochi poetry), (Shap Sahar Andem- Collection of Balochi poetry), (Singaab — Collection of Urdu poetry), (Barfaag — a collection of Urdu poetry), and others such as; Gichain, Dareen, and Haft Zubani Lughat.
Unfortunately, his poems were not translated in other languages. If some of his poems were translated either in English or Arabic, there would have been great added value in the fields of literature and poetry. Literature identified that the English and Arab people began to think differently after reading English translation of “Omar Khayam” which was translated by Edward I. Khalil Gibran also brought great changes after his poems and other writings translated into different languages, like in English and Urdu. The work of Mahmood Darwish was also well appreciated after the translation in different languages.
Atta Shad wrote beautiful poems. One of his poems in Urdu language in the collection of Singaap inspired me. On the other hand, his poetry in Balochi language was more attractive than in Urdu, as other poets noted out.
I tried to translate that poem of Atta Shad in English, but I found it is not easy. It is not only translating word by word technically, someone has to consider what is there behind the poem. Some translators only try to make their readers and audiences happy, forgetting and not taking the “soul and proper meaning of verses” in to consideration. This in my opinion is wrong, because you are not giving the right of poets, who worked so hard and you finally mislead people by just decorating and playing with his words in your own way. Nevertheless, I have attempted in doing so, but I am not sure about my translation too, because translation is an “Art” as said by Gibran.
Edward, who translated the Rubaiyat of Khayam was badly criticised by Persian writers. They believed that Edward did not properly translate the work of Omar Khayam.
Here are translations of a few verses from one of his poems, under title Uske Naam. Meaning In his name, where he is trying deeply to connect with the nature and creatures, and let his thoughts to fly.In his name
I have touched the fragrance and saw itI hold the dawn with my handsI have taken kisses of the moonI have seen the shadow inside the sunI may gossip with airI may notice pictures of hearingsI hear the lyrics of every thoughtI recognize faces from every wordI have seen the picture from colourI wear colour of each pictureI have seen the whole “Dijla” in a dropI found no drop in a whole “Dijla”If I think what can’t I seeIf I see what can’t I thinkI am that power who lost in the natureI am that poet who is speechless in doubtsIf I think of you I can’t see anything elseIf I look at you I can’t think anything elseReading one of the articles where it is written that if you read and recite Atta Shad’s poetry you find that there are colours of different weathers, frozen winds, flowing streams, singing fountains, snow-covered valleys, rocky mountains, barren lands, and fluttering trees.
Atta Shad who visited many countries such as; Iran, Saudi Arabia, USA, Australia, Germany, Thailand, Italy, China, England, Denmark, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Singapore. This indicates that poets have no borders. They believe that Earth is of God and all people belong to Him.