Iqbal’s  Payam-e-Mashriq: A Verse Translated
Dr. Zafar M.  Iqbal
TCCI, Chicago, IL

 

Iqbal published ‘Payam-e-Mashriq’ in 1923, in response to ‘ West Osterlich Diwan’ ( East-West Diwan)  by the famous German poet, Goethe, who was quite impressed by the Eastern philosophy and poetry. Iqbal admired Goethe nearly as much as he did Ghalib.   Payam-e-Mashriq is mostly in Persian,  a testimony to Iqbal’s remarkable linguistic facility in a language in which he wrote more poetry than Urdu.

Here is my translation of one of his Persian poems in ‘Payam-e-Mashriq’, which is included in my forthcoming book on ‘Iqbal Translated’.

 

To England   (Khithaab ba Inglistan)

 

Wine of the East came from the jug of the West--

what if it broke the vows of abstinence,

it did teach us new ways to solve problems,

and that made the philosophers happy.

 

Don’t let the clamor for more

make you sad, O Cupbearer;

just tell me who was kind enough

to teach the East to drink?

 

But for the fragrance of rose,

the nightingale wouldn’t know

where the garden is-- what else

could have taken nightingale there?

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Khitaab a Inglisthaan

 

Mashriqi bada chusheeda usth za meenai farang

Ujbi neesth agar tawba-e-dayreena shikisth

Fikr nowzada aw shaywa-e-tudbeer aa-moqhth

Joosh vzud khoon  ba rug bunda-e thukhdeer parasth

Saaqi-ya thung dil uz shorish musthaan nasho-we

Khud tho insaaf bada ainhima hungama ka busth?

“Boo-e gul khud ba chamun rahnuma shud za nakhisth

Wurna bulbul chay khabur daashth ka gulzaari husth”

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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