The poem “For Your Lanes, My Country” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz is about the relationship of the poet with his motherland, Pakistan. And here we are going to describe the optimistic point of view of the poet toward his motherland. And the love towards his country, Pakistan. Here we have provided For Your Lanes My Country by Faiz Ahmed Faiz Summary
Table of Contents
- Partition turmoil
- The poem ‘For Your Lanes, My Country‘ by Faiz Ahmed Faiz can be called an Ode, as it was written indicating Pakistan. And Pakistan had been personified by the poet in the poem.
- It is also called a poem of captivity, as Faiz Ahmed Faiz wrote this poem when he was jailed for four years.
- He was jailed by the government of Pakistan for conspiracy, along with Sajjad Zaheer, one of the founders of the Progressive Writers Association and the Communist Party of Pakistan
- The poem was written in 1979
For Your Lanes, my Country,
I can sacrifice all I have
but the custom these days is
no one walks with head held high.
Here the poet wanted to say that, he can sacrifice wholly himself to his motherland, Pakistan, and its lanes (roads, routes). But nowadays the custom (traditions) had been changed. No one is faithful or true toward their country. And most of the people here are corrupted.
We have found an Alliteration here: “HEAD HELD HIGH” (figure of speech)
The lovers looking for each other must sneak out
afraid of life and limbs, and
Here the lovers are indicated to the poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and Pakistan. Here, the love of the poet for his country, Pakistan is compared with the love of the two lovers sneaking out to meet and are afraid of getting caught. That is, they can’t raise their voice, nor they can do anything to protect it. Likewise, even if the poet wanted to raise his voice for his country, he can’t. As he was not that powerful to do it and stop the corruption and wrongdoings going on everywhere.
We found an alliteration here: ‘lovers looking‘
for them , a new order of the day now:
“the bricks and stones are imprisoned,
and the stray dogs free to roam“
For everyone, a new order had come where, bricks and stone, that is, the good people are imprisoned and the stray dogs, that is the bad people/ corrupted people are free to roam around and do whatever they wanted to.
((The quoted lines of the poem is taken from, the Mosleh al-Din Saadi Shiraz by Saadi, a Persian poet,1210-1290))
For the many apologists of the tyranny,
it’s enough that a few of your dear friends
have turned into power-seekers,
judges and plaintiffs.
Who can you ask to represent you,
who can you ask justice from?
Here apologists are referred to as the supporters of corruption. Here the poet wanted to say that, the person who is in power, who claims to be a supporter of Pakistan and does whatever is required to protect it has now become corrupted or a tyranny (a person in power uses his power in a wrong way). That is, the person who is in power and position, i.e., judges and plaintiffs(a person who starts a legal action against somebody in the court), has now become a power-seekers. Now, as they had become corrupted and power-seekers, the poet questioned Pakistan, who will now represent you and fight for justice, for you and your people.
We found an Anaphora here: ” Who” & “who“
But people do survive, away from you,
worry about you, day and night
but manage somehow.
Here, the poet says that there are still people who think about Pakistan and worry about it, day and night. And they manage to pass their days and nights somehow, afraid of being the victim at the hands of the corrupted people. We find a sense of consolation here, by the poet to his country, Pakistan.
When the prison gratings darken,
my heart sees stars sprinkled in your hair,
when I see light through these gratings
I know your face would be bathed in dawn.
Here, in this stanza, we will find the poet’s optimistic thoughts. He says, When he was in prison’s gratings (barriers= metal bars), it used to be dark inside it. But, when the poet used to see it through his heart, he can see the stars sprinkled in your hair, i.e., the hope. Here, your hair is indicated as the hair of Pakistan, i.e., Pakistan is personified here. Hair is symbolized darkness, and stars are symbolized light and hope. And Through these lines, the poet wanted to say that, When the poet used to see the lights through this barrier, he knew that the face of Pakistan will be bathed in dawn (symbolizing a new beginning or new hope). So, here poet hopes for good days for Pakistan after getting over the bad and dark phase.
Here we find an alliteration– “sees stars sprinkled“, “through these“, “be bathed“
In any case,
I live in imagined days and nights,
I exist in the shadow of the prison walls.
Here the poet says, he used to live in a dreamy world. He used to think about the good days. Maybe in the literal world, he was behind the prisoned wall but metaphorically he was outside it and hoping for the best and good days (optimistic thinking). Here, shadow indicates the darkness of the prison or the life of the Pakistani people.
Here we have found an Anaphora: ‘In‘ ‘I‘ and ‘I‘ (figure of speech)
This is how people fight oppression,
their ritual isn’t new, nor are my ways new.
This is how we always grew flower in fire,
their defeat isn’t new, our victory isn’t new.
Through these lines, the poet wanted to make us understand that, people have to tolerate their oppression and fight it back from within. And they are habituated to it. This isn’t a new process or ritual for them to tolerate oppression. But this had to be always the process to tolerate the oppression/pain. A sense of Ahimsa (Gandhian thoughts) is found here. In the hope that good days will come a day (optimistic thought).
By tolerating the pain and oppression by the oppressors only we can get freedom someday. A sense of hope is what the poet is trying to find here through the word flower. Here, fire indicates the destructive, painful, and helpless situation of the Pakistani people. So, the poet here is being optimistic and hoping for the good days to come and grow, flowers in fire. And defeat the oppressors or political leaders/corrupted people. As their defeat isn’t new and our victory isn’t new. In the end, we will surely get the victory and defeat the oppressors.
Here we have found Anaphora: “This” “their” “This” & “Their“
That’s why I don’t complain to the Heaven,
or make myself sad thinking about you.
Here the poet wanted to say to us that, he doesn’t complain to Heaven (Al-Mighty) for their oppressed condition. As he knows that they will overcome this situation someday. It is not permanent. And thinking about You (here, you indicate Pakistan) doesn’t make me sad as he knows that someday, everyone will overcome this situation and lead a good and tension-free life.
We found a Alliteration here: “make myself“
We are apart today, but tomorrow
we‘ll be together;
separation for one night isn’t much.
Here, the poet is talking like a lover, that may be for today they are separated but tomorrow they will reunite again, i.e., separation for one night isn’t much. Here the love of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Pakistan is represented. That they are now been separated through the prison’s wall but they will get to meet someday after his punishment was over, i.e., after four years.
We found an Anaphora here: “We” & “we“
What if my rivals are riding high today,
their reign of a few days isn’t much.
Those who remain true to you,
understand what the daily turmoil really means.
In these lines, the poets said that maybe the rivals (oppressors or corrupted political leaders) are riding high today but their reign(kingdom) will surely fall someday. And the people who are still true to his/her own country, Pakistan, surely know that they will overcome this daily turmoil (confusion). They are optimistic throughout their life and hope for the best for their country.
Questions And Answers: “For Your Lanes, My Country” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
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[…] The poet of the poem “For Your Lanes, My Country” is Faiz Ahmed Faiz, who was born in 1911 in undivided India. And died in Lahore in […]