Friday, November 17, 2006

Maryam Gazala: "These moments"   [ghazal translation]

Lacking clear cause   I'm assaulted   by these moments
when I'm minded to move   I'm halted   by these moments

say I'm settling to sit?   these moments push me along
do they peddle mirages? yes   I'm exalted   by these moments

they have levied from me   the habit of regular sleep
a midnight knock   my door has defaulted   from these moments

on some days   they raid my larder of every morsel!
other days my begging bowl's filled and salted   by these moments

O when I make a try for the path of being simple
with what riddles and puzzles   I get pelted   by these moments!

day and night   I keep on piling up more errors
like a soothing friend   I'm lulled and lilted   by these moments

the entire world is disclosed as a vast museum
when into its labyrinth   I've been tilted   by these moments

what I most cherish is my desire for the murmur of roses
but here on the stairwell   thorns are belted   by these moments

oh what courteous physicians   they can prove to be!
when you wound me   I'm gauzed and felted   by these moments

why now falsify your newsbrief   darling Gazala?
when they choose to leave   you'll be jilted   by these moments


Rendering of a Gujarati ghazal ("Amthi amthi mujhne aklaave kshano") by Maryam Gazala Radhanpuri -- following from Max Babi's literal translation.


Blogger gautami tripathy said...

How do you do it, David? I like this!

Fri Nov 17, 03:08:00 AM PST  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

Thanks Gautami. I myself feel this has been one of the luckiest encounters of the happenstances of English with such an effort; -- an "imported" poem has managed to naturalize itself with uncanny detail, yes? But to answer the "how do it?" question -- I think it's partly the result of persisting with similar work over many years. Eventually, one gets the right hunches, inshallah.

Fri Nov 17, 03:15:00 AM PST  
Blogger Max Babi said...

Pretty good version, David.
I agree with Gautami, you have hit a lucky spot to come so close to the original poem within the straitjacket of rhyme and radif and quafiya of the formal ghazal format.
In fact, very good!

I am, bubbling over with more half-chewed gruel for your gristmill.

Fri Nov 17, 05:45:00 AM PST  
Blogger Ravi Kopra said...

Somehow I feel queasy in these moments
I feel like going, they stop me, these moments

I feel like resting, they make me run, these moments
seemingly scrupulous and illusory are these moments

They don't let me sleep at night; at midnight
they keep knocking on the door, these moments

Some days they snatch at my bites, other days
they pile food on my leafy plates, these moments

When I go by the simple ways
they baffle and puzzle me, these moments

When I go on blundering day and night
like a dear friend they show me the way, these moments

Though the whole world is a strange place
they send me the wrong way, these moments

Though I long for the roses, why on the stairwell
they place thorny bushes, these moments?

They are the great healers, say the people
you wound me, they heal me in these moments

Ghazala, why bother with the stories of the past?
Those gone, aren't coming back in these moments.

~Ravi Kopra
The original ghazal in Gujarati:

Amthi amthi mujhne aklaave kshano
Chaalvaa jaaoon ne thobhaave kshano

Besvaa jaaoon ne dodaave kshano
Mrug-jalo dekhaadi bharmave kshano

Hun neeraate ungh pun naa lai shakun
Ardh rate dwaar khakhadaave kshano

Chhinvi le koliyo ko'dee ane
Koee-dee mujh paatr chhalkaave kshano

Hun saral panthe jaaoon chaali ane
Koydo aapine aklaave kshano

Bhul hun karti rahun choon raat-dee
Ek sahiyarni jem samjhaave kshano

Chhe ajayab ghar sakal sarnksar aa
Ne vali eman y atkaave kshano

Chhe gulabo-na abharkha toh mane
Baavlo chhe kem aa vaave kshano

Mare mat viadh chhe akseer e,
Ghaav tun aape ne rujhave kshano

Shoon "Ghazala" daholi-e itihas-ne
Je gayee paachee na e aave kshano.

~ Maryam Ghazala in 'Akshar Kyaari', Maasoom Prakashan, Thane, Maharashtra India, 2006.
See another translation by David Israel at:

Sun Jan 14, 02:10:00 PM PST  
Blogger Ravi Kopra said...

Sun Jan 14, 02:13:00 PM PST  

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