Speak, your lips are free.
Speak, it is your own tongue.
Speak, it is your own body.
Speak, your life is still yours.
See how in the blacksmith’s shop
The flame burns wild, the iron glows red;
The locks open their jaws,
And every chain begins to break.
Speak, this brief hour is long enough
Before the death of body and tongue:
Speak, ’cause the truth is not dead yet,
Speak, speak, whatever you must speak.
Here is the poem in the original Urdu.
bol ki lab aazaad hai.n tere
bol zabaa.N ab tak terii hai
teraa sutawaa.N jism hai teraa
bol ki jaa.N ab tak terii hai
dekh ke aaha.ngar kii dukaa.N me.n
tu.nd hai.n shole surKh hai aahan
khulane lage quffalo.n ke dahaane
phailaa har ek zanjiir kaa daaman
bol ye tho.Daa waqt bahot hai
jism-o-zabaa.N kii maut se pahale
bol ki sach zi.ndaa hai ab tak
bol jo kuchh kahane hai kah le
Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) was a Pakistani poet and author who wrote in Punjabi and Urdu. In 1951, he was charged with conspiracy to overthrow the government, was sentenced to death, but was released after four years in prison, then lived most of his life in exile. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize for his poetry in 1963 and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature shortly before his death in 1984.