One Poem. One Planet.–Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib



To my eye the pleasures of the world are nothing but dust.

Except for blood, what else flows in the guts?


Turned to dust, the wings are now a spent force;

They might even blow away on the winds.


Who is this coming towards us with the very face

of heaven, his path strewn with roses, not dust?


I should have been kind to myself, even if she wasn’t.

How I have wasted my breath for nothing!


The mere thought of spring makes them drunk;

what had the tavern walls and doors to do with it?


I am ashamed of the violence of my own love.

In this ruined house how I had hoped to be a builder!


Today our verses, Asad, are only an idle pastime.

What’s the use of flaunting our talent, then?



–Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, (1797-1864) Persia

–Translated from the Urdu by R. Parthasarathy, Poetry, April 2006



Learn more about One Poem. One Planet. 



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