April 26, 2006

Spiritual Poetry of The Subcontinent

Urdu Poetry by Mirza Ghalib

کہتے ہیں جیتے ہیں امّید پہ لوگ
ہم کو جینے کی بھی امّید نہیں

- They say people live on hope
we have no hope even of living

نہ گلِ نغمہ ہوں نہ پردۂ ساز
میں ہوں اپنی شکست کی آواز

- I am neither the rose of melody nor the tone of an instrument
I am the sound of my own breaking

Punjabi Poetry by Bulleh Shah*

Masjid dhaa de, mandir dhaa de,
dhaa de jo kuchh dhendaa,
Par banday da dil na dhaanveen.
Rabb dilaan vich rehnda.

Demolish the masjid, tear down the temple,
destroy everything that can be destroyed,
but do not break a person’s heart.
God Himself lives within people’s hearts.

*With thanks to Koonj


khanana said...

Lovely :)

Boo! said...

I look at Ghalib as more of a hopeless romantic as opposed to a spiritual poet. My favourite from ghalib:

har ik makaan ko makeen hai sharaf assad;
majnu jo mar giya tou jangal udaas hai

"Each residence is recongized due to its the residents, Asad;
Now that 'Romeo' has died, the jungle is unhappy"

By the way, it would be interesting to have your views on Sufism, if you have any. I guess that could turn out to be a controversian topic though.

Destitute Rebel said...

Ghalib - hmm i think I'll post a translation of Ghalib on my blog.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Yes I suppose you are right Boo. He is more of a hopeless romantic although there are some very spiritual poems with regards to religion. He often writes about spiritual elements...(and wine...) "vah vah"

D Rebel... I think you should. I am as we all know, crap at urdu, so that is definately your department, theek hai?

zee said...

Mirza Ghalib is wonderful but more a romantic like boo! said. Still his work is very inspiring. Good that you highlight some good punjabi and urdu poetry.

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

"Bulla kee jaana main kaun" is what got me to Ustad Bulle Shah. I saw Rabbi, a Sikh, singing it on TV, and the words kept going round and round in my head till I found out that it was the work of a Muslim mystic. Junoon sang this too I think. That perhaps is the beauty of such poetry that crosses all barriers.

"Yeh masaaile tasawwuf, yeh tera bayaan Ghalib,
Tukhey ham walee samajhtey jo na baadakhwar hota"

roughly translated as:
"We would have taken you to be great mystic, Ghalib dude, going by all your deep insights and mastery of expression, if only you hadn't spoiled the fun with your other doubtful habits"

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Farrukh, Great to read more of Shah. Do post more if you can... :)

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

That was Ghalib describing himself, Shaikha.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! »