Poetry in Translation: After Mohammed Iqbal

 
A WALK IN THE SKY
 
I walked alone, the bewildered stars,
past day and night, circled
my journey’s secret. I left the old order.
 
What can I tell you about Paradise,
desire’s horizon? Birds in olive trees,
houris unveiled, goblets clinking.
 
Beyond Paradise, a place so dark
even Layla’s curls would pale,
so icy, Venus herself would hide.
 
“What is this place?” “This is hell,”
an angel answered to my surprise.
“Here, borrowed fire creates turmoil:
 
those who come here are their own flame.”
 
Translated from the Urdu by 3QD guest poet Rafiq Kathwari.
 
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