You say I cannot have it if you find my heart.
It was once mine: now I know who has it.
Love is by far the best thing in life. It took
All my sorrows: but has me hooked to it.
She is coy & cunning, sweet, exacting too.
She is playing you when you do not know it.
The heart can tell its story: what I know is this,
Every time I look for it, you say you have it.
My mentor likes to rub salt in my wounds.
Sir Tormentor, I ask, what do you take from it?
from Kenyon Review, Winter 2013
translation: M. Shahid Alam
Editor's Note, Kenyon Review:
Ghalib is the pen name of Mirza Asadullah Khan, a poet of
nineteenth-century India, wrote in Urdu and Persian.
He is widely regarded as the greatest poet of the Urdu language.
Article by M. Shahid Alam:
Urdu Ghazals of Ghalib