Poetry in Translation

Son, I Again Dreamt About You Last Night

A version after Iqbal

I couldn’t find the road in the dark,
my every hair bristled
but I dared myself and walked on,

saw boys swaying in single file,
each holding a Diya lamp in his hand,
their clothes glowed like emeralds—

God only knew where they were going. . .
I saw you at the end of the line,
your Diya unlit. “Heartbeat of my heart,”

I said, “where are you going after abandoning
me? All day I thread my tears into a necklace.
“Don’t weep for me,” you said, “don’t yearn

for me there is no gain in it for me —”
then you fell silent for a moment
looked at your Diya again, and spoke

do you know what happened? Your tears
of sorrow dowsed it.”


By Rafiq Kathwari. His new collection of poems “My Mother’s Scribe” (Yoda Press) is available here and here.