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Discussion in 'Poetry' started by naqshbandijamaati, May 14, 2007.
This poem is Iqbal's poetry at its zenith: both mature and ecstatic and musical and profound--it is amongst his most well known ghazals. Here is my inadequate translation of a difficult poem:
kabhī ay ḥaqīqat-e muntaz̤ir naz̤ar ā libās-e majāz meñ
kih hazāroñ sijde taṛap rahe haiñ mirī jabīn-e niyāz meñ
Sometime O' long-awaited Reality [Allah] let us see you in a contingent form!
For thousands of prostrations lay waiting in my humble brow!
t̤arab-āshnā-e ḳharosh ho tū navā hai maḥram-e gosh ho
vuh sarod kyā kih chhupā huʾā ho sukūt-e pardah-e sāz meñ
Be joy that knows also clamour; you are a cry, become intimate with the ear!
What sarod* is it whose sound remains hidden beneath the silence of the instrument's veil?
tū bachā bachā ke nah rakh use tirā āʾinah hai vuh āʾinah
kih shikastah ho to ʿazīz-tar hai nigāh-e āʾinah-sāz meñ
Do not keep it so safe this mirror of yours-- for yours is such a mirror
That if it were to break it would be even dearer in the eyes of the mirror-maker!
dam-e t̤auf kirmak-e shamʿa ne yih kahā kih vuh aṡar-e kuhan
nah tirī ḥikāyat-e soz meñ nah mirī ḥadīṡ-e gudāz meñ
During its circumambulation of the flame the moth said this: "That ancient effect
Is neither in your story of burning, nor in my tale of melting!"
nah kahīñ jahāñ meñ amāñ milī jo amāñ milī to kahāñ milī
mire jurm-e ḳhānah-ḳharāb ko tire ʿafv-e bandah-navāz meñ
I could not find safety anywhere in the world ; but the safety eventually found
By my terrible sins was in the bosom of Thy servant-forgiving Mercy
nah vuh ʿishq meñ rahīñ garmiyāñ nah vuh ḥusn meñ rahīñ shoḳhiyāñ
nah vuh ġhaznavī meñ taṛap rahī nah vuh ḳham hai zulf-e ayāz meñ
Love no longer has the same fervour, nor beauty the same coquetry;
Ghaznavi*no longer is so eager, nor are Ayaz's* tresses so intoxicating!
jo maiñ sar basijdah huʾā kabhī to zamīñ se āne lagī ṣadā
terā dil to hai ṣanam-āshnā tujhe kyā milegā namāz meñ
When eventually I lay down my head in prostration a voice came from the ground:
"Your heart is full of idols, what will you gain from ritual prayer?"
*Notes: A sarod is a stringed musical instrument from India. Ghaznavi is the famous Afghan king, Mahmud of Ghazna, a Naqshbandi, who conquered parts of north India and laid waste the Temple of Somnath; Ayaz was his favourite slaveboy. The two are a famous, archetypal, pair in Urdu and Farsi poetry.