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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, September 21, 2018.
About this Poem 

“The phrase half-lit, or neem tareek in Urdu, comes from Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem ‘We who were murdered in the half-lit lanes.’ Faiz wrote this poem as an act of political resistance against an oppressive regime, and in this poem, one of the things I try to do is to explore the psychology of oppression. I think a lot about the way those who hold power have the ability to turn narratives their way, to occlude the mirror of the collective consciousness or to clear it, to define us as they wish. Whether they are myopic, or choose to turn the other way, one fact is clear: they are not seeing us.”
—Adeeba Shahid Taluker

The Gods of the Age

When they first
glimpsed Creation, it was only
                    	 half-lit.
 
Half-lit,
as in, only half-clear—
that night, they discerned
                                      and imagined.
 
In the mind’s waters,
a blurring,                   a refraction.
There, we were brimming,
we were multitudes,
 
but they saw our darkness
and named us Dark.

Copyright © 2018 by Adeeba Shahid Talukder. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 21, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Adeeba Shahid Talukder. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 21, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Adeeba Shahid Talukder

Adeeba Talukder

Adeeba Shahid Talukder is the author of Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved, which is a winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press, and What Is Not Beautiful (Glass Poetry Press, 2018).