Poem: Postcard from Kashmir by Agha Shahid Ali| postcard from Kashmir summary

Postcard from Kashmir

The poem ‘Postcard from Kashmir’ by Agha Shahid Ali is a thought-provoking piece that highlights the poet’s feelings about his homeland Kashmir.

The poem juxtaposes the poet’s remembrance of his home with a photograph of some Kashmiri scenery.

He is reminded of his home in India when he receives the postcard. Obviously, he is not at home and is in a distant place. The poem speaks to the feeling of longing for one’s homeland and highlights the importance of memories.

Postcard from Kashmir by Agha Shahid Ali

Kashmir shrinks into my mailbox,
my home a neat four by six inches.
I always loved neatness. Now I hold
the half-inch Himalayas in my hand.
This is home. And this the closest
I’ll ever be to home. When I return,
the colors won’t be so brilliant,
the Jhelum’s waters so clean,
so ultramarine. My love
so overexposed.
And my memory will be a little
out of focus, in it
a giant negative, black
and white, still undeveloped.

Summary and Analysis

The poet reflects on his memories of Kashmir and the postcard he received from there. He is saddened by the realization that when he returns home, the colors will not be as bright and the landscape will not be as beautiful as it is in his memory. The love he has for his homeland is bittersweet because of the knowledge that he can never return to live there again. The poem provides a poignant perspective on the exile experience.

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