This Prisoner Breathes

I am trapped in a jungle of voices
In which I cannot spread my wings
Even so, you insist that I take flight
You will not set me free
And are so offended by my point of view
That you stitch my eyelashes closed
You insist that I must explain the weather
Terrorise my feet with echoes of chains
You say that my desire to be free
Is too much for your precious jungle
Yet you set fire to the boat carrying my feelings
Surround this sea of feeling with desert sand
But listen!
Whatever happens ...
Suffocation, torture, desert or jungle
This prisoner breathes

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Comments (7)


Happy Ashadhi Beej’ and wish you all a very happy Kachchhi new year’ !!!Kachchh has been a mystifying ecipreenxe for me since last 09 years now. it has been always dear to me for lots and lots of reasons and many unforgettable moments and the lifelong associations that it has given to me. And above all the creative outlet’ of mine which was re-born here only !! Kachchh   . iske jaisa kuchh nahin !!!Thanks Shabnam for this beautiful poem !!

Roberto H. Vasquez

These poems were so refreshing and soothed my own fears in regard to a beloved woman from your country. I still haven’t met her in person but my love for her is insatiable; at times I lose heart, but your poems breathed hope and patience into me. Thank you.

Samar Huusain

Hi im 15 and we are doing this as a coursework so my opinion is…

Actually if you look at Gillani’s life she was a political person and fighted for rights. this poem is basicaly her being trapped in na very enclosed space where she cannot see any of her surroundings “you stich my eyelashes closed”

it is her being inprisoned for speaking her mind which in the poem is not permitted. “are so offended by my point of veiw” 

It is also as if that where she is, freedom is a luxury “You say that my desire to be free is too much for your precious jungle” 



I’m not sure I agree with Naeem, I think she’s the prisoner. She’s been oppressed by males to get where she is as a successful poet and this is her way of coping with it. I guess you could say it is, therefore, in reference to her entire life.


Its not something particular, it is just a reference and there isn’t any particular prisoner but as I understand is that it might refer todays human being. The troubles, the worries todays man got, it refers those things….



Noshi Gillani is a poetess par excellence. and she got where she is today after getting though a lot of male chavunism and other struggles. I’m not sure but my best guess is that the poem is in defiance to all those who tried to subdue her.


Why did Noshi Gillani write this particular poem? Is it in reference to something particular?

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