Poetry in Translation

Two Poems by Muhammed Iqbal (1877-1938)

Bright Rose

You cannot loosen the heart’s knot,
perhaps you have no heart

no share in the turmoil
of this garden where I yearn

but gather no roses.
Of what use is wisdom to me?

Once out of the garden,
you are at peace. I am anxious,

scorched as I search.
Even Jamshed’s empty cup

foretold the future,
may wine never touch my lips,

open circle in a mirror.

Withered Rose

By what words can I deem you
desire of the nightingale’s heart?

The morning breeze was your cradle,
garden a tray of perfumes.

My tears rain like dew,
and in my barren heart your ruin

an emblem of mine.
My life a dream of roses.

Trans-created from the original Urdu by Rafiq Kathwari / @brownpundit.