January 1, 2010 § 2 Comments
This ghazal is a translation from Wings of Gabriel, the best collection of Iqbal’s Urdu poetry. From time to time, I will be presenting translations from this collection.
اگر کج رو ہیں انجم آسمان تیرا ہے یا میرا
translation by M. Shahid Alam
If the stars are topsy-turvy: is the sky yours or mine?
Should this fret me? Is the world yours or mine?
If Heaven lacks the tug, the heat of love’s adventure,
Dear Lord, this cosmic enigma is yours: not mine.
On that first dawn of creation, how dared he to defy
Your decree. Was he your emissary: or was he mine?
Muhammad is yours, Gabriel and the Qur’an too.
But these melodic words: are they yours or mine?
It’s this star, scintillating, that lights your creation.
Whose loss is it – the fall of Man? Is it yours or mine?
– M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston. He is author of Poverty from the Wealth of Nations (Macmillan: 2000), Challenging the New Orientalism (IPI: 2007), and Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave: 2009). You may reach him at email@example.com.