Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Shabbir Banoobhai

Featured Poem:

Song of love

Enlarge poem

For mevlana jelaluddin rumi
Recalling a visit to his shrine in konya

you might have wondered as you heard me cry
when we met, how a seven-hundred-year-old grief
could live in a fifty-year-old heart, and thought no doubt
in that gentle day, fast-forwarding into night, that here
is an errant bird that has finally made it to its home

is a river at its source separate from the sea, i ask
the question, you say, reflects the answer you seek
when love answers love, joy replaces questions

i danced just there where you are standing now
and gathered in one shams-lit moment, such beauty
as only the one who loves knows is possible, that lives

as we live and shines with truth that lies within us:
so dance if you can, as one day you must; this madness
is all we have to show for the burdens we choose to lose
but first you need to stop your tears; they are affecting
the person behind you trying to take a photograph of love.

shabbir banoobhai

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How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (15)
  • Pride (7)
  • Optimism (8)
  • Anger (11)
  • Delight (9)
  • Inspiration (13)
  • Reflection (11)
  • Captivation (8)
  • Peace (6)
  • Amusement (4)
  • Sorrow (7)
  • Vigour (3)
  • Hope (4)
  • Sadness (4)
  • Fear (6)
  • Jubilation (4)

Comments

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Biography

Shabbir Banoobhai’s poetry is spiritual, political and personal with the three themes interwoven, the personal poems often having a political dimension and the political, a spiritual. A child of parents who came to South Africa from India, he was born in Durban in 1949, where he lived for most of his life until he moved to Cape Town in 1995. He Of necessity he shared the fate of the larger black community of South Africans, his poetry reflecting that struggle. He qualified as a teacher in 1970, as a Chartered Accountant in 1978, and as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1983. Lectured at the University of Durban-Westville from mid 1977 to the end of 1982; ran a management consultancy practice in Durban from 1983 to 1995; and joined Old Mutual in Cape Town in January 1996.

Retired in November 2005; and is now a full-time writer. Some of his works, in full, include: echoes of my other self; shadows of a sun-darkened land; inward moon outward sun; if i could write: Ramadan letters that can be read at Christmas or on any other day; and lyrics in paradise. He is the recipient of the Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry. What is particularly striking about his poetry is its complete sincerity, described as, “a luminous work of the heart containing profound reflections on the nature of the Divine, Prophetic and human consciousness, love, justice, peace and war. A genuine and original Sufi primer for the 21st-century seeker, reflecting an important development in contemporary ‘South African spiritual thought'”.

Shabbir Banoobhai

shabbir banoobhai
shabbir banoobhai

Biography

Shabbir Banoobhai’s poetry is spiritual, political and personal with the three themes interwoven, the personal poems often having a political dimension and the political, a spiritual. A child of parents who came to South Africa from India, he was born in Durban in 1949, where he lived for most of his life until he moved to Cape Town in 1995. He Of necessity he shared the fate of the larger black community of South Africans, his poetry reflecting that struggle. He qualified as a teacher in 1970, as a Chartered Accountant in 1978, and as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1983. Lectured at the University of Durban-Westville from mid 1977 to the end of 1982; ran a management consultancy practice in Durban from 1983 to 1995; and joined Old Mutual in Cape Town in January 1996.

Retired in November 2005; and is now a full-time writer. Some of his works, in full, include: echoes of my other self; shadows of a sun-darkened land; inward moon outward sun; if i could write: Ramadan letters that can be read at Christmas or on any other day; and lyrics in paradise. He is the recipient of the Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry. What is particularly striking about his poetry is its complete sincerity, described as, “a luminous work of the heart containing profound reflections on the nature of the Divine, Prophetic and human consciousness, love, justice, peace and war. A genuine and original Sufi primer for the 21st-century seeker, reflecting an important development in contemporary ‘South African spiritual thought'”.

Featured Poem:

Song of love

Enlarge poem

For mevlana jelaluddin rumi
Recalling a visit to his shrine in konya

you might have wondered as you heard me cry
when we met, how a seven-hundred-year-old grief
could live in a fifty-year-old heart, and thought no doubt
in that gentle day, fast-forwarding into night, that here
is an errant bird that has finally made it to its home

is a river at its source separate from the sea, i ask
the question, you say, reflects the answer you seek
when love answers love, joy replaces questions

i danced just there where you are standing now
and gathered in one shams-lit moment, such beauty
as only the one who loves knows is possible, that lives

as we live and shines with truth that lies within us:
so dance if you can, as one day you must; this madness
is all we have to show for the burdens we choose to lose
but first you need to stop your tears; they are affecting
the person behind you trying to take a photograph of love.

No audio file loaded.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (15)
  • Pride (7)
  • Optimism (8)
  • Anger (11)
  • Delight (9)
  • Inspiration (13)
  • Reflection (11)
  • Captivation (8)
  • Peace (6)
  • Amusement (4)
  • Sorrow (7)
  • Vigour (3)
  • Hope (4)
  • Sadness (4)
  • Fear (6)
  • Jubilation (4)

Comments

Your email address will not be published.