This a poem by Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese America poet/writer. From it’s title, you may already have deduced what it is: a poem indicating the characteristics of a pitiful nation…
What made me publish this poem on artsyHANDS is how, coincidentally, we as a nation can relate to the qualities mentioned by Gibran.
They say good poetry is timeless. Khalil wrote this early in the 1900s (published in 1933 in The Garden of the Prophet) and it almost seems like it was written today for Pakistan’s current situation!
My uncle, Saad Altaf, specially asked for this to be published on artsy.
Read on ahead why Saad so specially asked for this to be published!
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 bully as hero,
and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream,
yet submits in its awakening.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
save 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 trumpeting,
and farewells him with hooting,
only to welcome another with trumpeting again.
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years
and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into into fragments,
each fragment deeming itself a nation
So, did you make the connection between the nation Khalil based his poem on: Lebanon/Syria and Pakistan?