Thursday Poem

A Ghazal: Intimations of Ghalib

آہ کو چاہیے اک عمر اثر ہوتے تک

کون جیتا ہے تری زلف کے سر ہوتے تک

It takes a lifetime for sighs to sway hearts.
Shall I live to pick lilacs for your hair?

The soul’s slow sea journey is perilous.
It is a rough ride from a drop to a pearl.

Love practices poise: ardor abhors time.
Can I keep my heart cooking in this fire?

I grant you will hurry when I ask for you.
I will be dust when my cry reaches you.

A sun glance lifts a dewdrop to extinction.
I too shall wait for a ray of light from you.

This life is over before you even know it.
We are in the world like sparks in the night.
. .
translated by M. Shahid Alam
from Notre Dame Review, Winter/Spring 2013