It was hard to think that all mankind,

Was hollow, servile, insincere,

But worst to trust to my own mind,

And find the same corruption there.

                          - Emily Bronte on her 18th birthday.

Ah, How much to say, how much to wish!

We were not what we have become!

On the Yorkshire moors her spirit roams,

And oft my dreams does this poetess haunt.

What to say of her and John Keats,

What did they seek except true love,

But this fickle world of selfish souls,

Did not give them the joy they sought.

Tears rip apart the heart's deep wounds,

As I reflect on Emily and Sylvia Plath,

And more does my grief increase,

When I reflect on what all Keats suffered.

And more and more do I hate this world,

As I read of Meer Taqi Meer and Ghalib,

Of Omar Khayyam and Pushkin,

Of Majaaz, Faraz and Parveen Shakir.

Why do these men and women revere us,

After our souls bid bodies farewell,

Why do the morons can't understand us,

When among them so many years we dwell?

Who can talk of nature like Wordsworth,

Who can describe love better than Byron,

Who can deal with almost everything,

More eloquently than Shakespeare has?

Can anyone talk of fate like Ghalib,

Or portray sorrows the way Meer did,

Can anyone sift the true from the false,

In the ways that Roomi or Khayyam did?

Come, come, O you legions of graduate fools,

Come, come, with your masters and doctors,

I throw the gauntlet on your side,

Unravel peace and quietude the way Pope did.

Can you talk of the heart's secrets,

Like Khalil Jibran or Mushafi do?

Can anyone among you love and lose,

Your beloved with a smile, like Browning?

None of you can compare with Elliot,

And untangle the plight of modern day men,

None can forecast the future like Iqbal,

Or ignite passions like Emerson does.

How all of you toil day and night,

To satisfy your craving for wealth,

For carnal pleasures and devilish goals,

How all of you plot and connive!

Yet none of you can come near me,

For even I am one of the lofty,

And like Shakespeare, Keats and Emily,

I can't be vanquished by the likes of ye.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Produced on the 25th of January 2009 in Karachi, Pakistan.
The names mentioned in the poem are of well known English, American, Persian, Turkish, Indian, Russian and Pakistani poets and Browning here refers to Robert Browning.

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