Pity the Nation

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My father sent me a poem today, which was written by Khalil Gibran in his book ‘The Garden of the Prophet’ in 1934.

We then discussed how these words were written more than 70 years ago, yet sadly still apply to so many nations today – especially Pakistan!

Please read the poem below in case you haven’t seen it before.

From: Ijaz Ul Haq
Sent: 28 October 2009 11:09
To: Ul Haq, Omar
Subject: Pity the Nation

Pity the Nation

Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own wine-press.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bull as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity the nation that despises a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except among its ruins, and will rebel not save when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.
Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again.
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.

Khalil Gibran
The garden of the Prophet (1934)

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4 comments

  1. First off, I LOVE the iPhone app for your blog!!! So much easier to follow as a result. And second refreshingly real poetry…unlike the day dreaming that Iqbal was doing during the same time frame.

  2. Amazed at this line –> “Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings, and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again.”

  3. Given the devastating bombings in Peshawar today, this poem is all the more fitting.

  4. Sigh. 😦

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