Anonymous Pashto Couplets
Landay are those national couplets in Pashto whose authors are unknown. They can, therefore, be called mirrors which reflect the sentiments and passions of every sensitive pashtoon man and woman.
These couplets are sung and enjoyed among lofty mountains, verdant valleys, vast deserts and sylvan surroundings, in villages and towns, by the side of the cascading waterfall and the humble nomadic tent, on the shepherd's flute and the orchard-keeper's reed pipe, in short in every corner of the land of the Pashtoons.
The oldsters sing them in memory of a youth which is no more; young men and maidens seek the intoxicating tumult of a passionate youth in their lines; for the lovelorn they are messengers of words sweet and divine; the swordsmen dance to their melody on the battlefield; and the weary traveler forgets the pangs of separation from home in their sweet words.
These couplets, composed of plain, easily understood, yet fluent language, are totally free of the influence of foreign, languages. Although some pushto poems are based on Arabic prosody yet these couplets are not only unfettered by Arabic versification, they are based on a syllabic-prosody of their own in as much as the first line of the couplet has nine syllables and the second thirteen.
Another outstanding quality of these couplets in that contrary to the general pattern of poetry in most (Landay) the woman address the man. This is so because compared to the male the sentiments of the female are more tender, her sorrow more profound and he voice more sweeter, and that is why the (Landay) are more moving in their effects, and the enjoyment is proportionately greator than that found in conventional pushto poetry.
Similarly every (Landay) couplet can be recited in different ways on different occasions. To be more explicit, a Landay couplet can be sung in different tunes and with different musical notes in combat and rejoicing, while traveling, whether inactive or dancing, in travail and happiness, in fact at all times and on all occasions.
The Landay presented here with their English translations constitute a very small specimen of this folk-poetry, otherwise there are thousands of these couplets which remain to be collected and only the Pashto academy (Kabul) has published a few in book form
Kabul 5th June, 1958
REad Some Landay and Enjoy it !!!