Sunday Poem

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?

by Ghalib
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