Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Maryam Gazala [ars poetica]   [rubai & translation]

Hunar khilta sada hai sadgi se
Gazal ka rabt hai deevangise
panapte hain kawal dal dal me yaaro
Guhar chupte nahin hai aadmi se

Genius blossoms clearly through simplicity
the ghazal is entangled with insanity
don't lotuses develop in the mud my friend?
it's deeply human to reveal one's misery


When I posted a note to Maryam Gazala's Ryze guest book mentioning a recent attempt to translate her ghazal ("On a surface of fog"), she replied with a pleasing surprise of the above (extemporized, it seems) Urdu rubai (quatrain). The latter -- with help (in form of a literal translation) offered by Max Babi -- I forthwith rendered into English, as seen above.

The verse somewhat calls to mind a couplet by Huang Jingren (黄景仁, 1749-1783):

perhaps it is   for poetry-books   that grief turns into sight
birds in spring   bugs in autumn   naturally make their sounds


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