Enough

My thin heart cannot eat this grief
…. of mine enough.
My sorrow is full because there is not
…. rose wine enough.

I am ashamed to tell
…. the Cupbearer
I will drink even sediment
…. if it is fine enough.

There is no arrow in the bow,
…. no hunter in ambush.
In the corner of this cage,
…. I can recline enough.

How I revere abstinence!
…. Am I a hypocrite?
I half thirst for a reward
…. for being dry enough.

How proud the smart ones are.
…. They take the road not taken.
But ritual ways bind their feet
…. and are routine enough.

Leave me at Zamzam.
…. Why should I want to circle the Ka’aba?1
My pilgrim robe is soaked
…. with wine enough.

It will torture me if things
…. do not work out
now that she has given in.
…. I guess I whined enough.

O death, my liver is not yet blood
…. dripping from my eyes.
I have things to do!
…. Give me time enough.

Could there be someone
…. who does not know Ghalib?
He is notorious, but as a poet
…. he is divine enough.

1 The Ka’aba is the most holy temple in Mecca, and the Well of Zamzam is said to have been revealed to Hagar, the wife of Abraham, when their son, Ishmael was weeping with thirst and kicking the earth. It is in Mecca, near the Ka’aba, and is a place of pilgrimage for millions who come to drink its water.

(Ghazal 232)

غم کھانے میں بودا دلِ نا کام بہت ہے
یہ رنج کہ کم ہے مےِ گلفام بہت ہے

کہتے ہوئے ساقی سے حیا آتی ہے ورنہ
ہے یوں کہ مجھے دردِ تۂ جام بہت ہے

نے تیر کماں میں ہے نہ صیّاد کمیں میں
گوشے میں قفس کے مجھے آرام بہت ہے

کیا زہد کو مانوں کہ نہ ہو گرچہ ریائی
پاداشِ عمل کی طمعِ خام بہت ہے

ہیں اہلِ خرد کس روشِ خاص پہ نازاں
پا بستگیِ رسم و رۂ عام بہت ہے

زمزم ہی پہ چھوڑو مجھے کیا طوفِ حرم سے
آلودہ بہ مے جامۂ احرام بہت ہے

ہے قہر گر اب بھی نہ بنے بات کہ ان کو
انکار نہیں اور مجھے ابرام بہت ہے

خوں ہو کے جگر آنکھ سے ٹپکا نہیں اے مرگ
رہنے دے مجھے یاں کہ ابھی کام بہت ہے

ہوگا کوئی ایسا بھی کہ غالب کو نہ جانے
شاعر تو وہ اچّھا ہے پہ بد نام بہت ہے

Asadullah Khan Ghalib (1797–1869), known by his pen name, Ghalib, is the famous romantic and mystical poet of the Mughal Empire in India. His poems are characterized by great wit, puns, and a mystical, erotic imagery so passionate as to veer at times into the surreal. He is the acknowledged world master of the ghazal, though certain Persian poets such as Hafiz and Rumi give him a run for his money!

Tony Barnstone and Bilal Shaw

Tony Barnstone and Bilal Shaw

Tony Barnstone is Professor of English and Environment Studies at Whittier College and the author of 18 books and a music CD. He has served as the Visiting Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing in the MFA Program at Bowling Green State University and as the Visiting Professor of Translation in the Ph.D. Program at the University of California, Irvine. He has a Masters in English and Creative Writing and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to Pulp Sonnets, his books of poetry include Beast in the Apartment; Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki, winner of the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry; The Golem of Los Angeles which won the Poets Prize and the Benjamin Saltman Award in Poetry; Sad Jazz: Sonnets; and Impure: Poems by Tony Barnstone, and a chapbook of poems titled Naked Magic (Main Street Rag). He is also a distinguished translator of Chinese poetry and literary prose and an editor of literary textbooks. His books in these areas include Chinese Erotic Poetry; The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry; Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry; Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei; The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters; and the textbooks Literatures of Asia, Africa and Latin America, Literatures of Asia, and Literatures of the Middle East. His bilingual Spanish/English selected poems, Buda en Llamas: Antología poética (1999-2012) appeared in 2014. He has also co-edited the anthologies Dead and Undead Poems and Monster Verse. Among his awards are the Poets Prize, Grand Prize of the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, the Pushcart Prize in Poetry, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the California Arts Council, the Benjamin Saltman Award in Poetry and the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry.His CD of folk rock/blues songs (in collaboration with singer-songwriters Ariana Hall and John Clinebell, based upon Tongue of War and titled Tokyo’s Burning: World War II Songs) is available on Amazon.com, Rhapsody, and CD Baby. His website is https://www.whittier.edu/academics/english/barnstone

Bilal Shaw is a Kashmiri poet and scientist currently working as a senior data science manager at Neustar in West Los Angeles.He and his co-translator Tony Lee have translated the Urdu ghazals of Mir Taqi Mir into English. He completed his PhD in quantum information science from the University of Southern California. In the past he has worked on DNA-based computation and nanotechnology, software architecture, and theoretical self-assembly.
Tony Barnstone and Bilal Shaw

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Author: Tony Barnstone and Bilal Shaw

Tony Barnstone is Professor of English and Environment Studies at Whittier College and the author of 18 books and a music CD. He has served as the Visiting Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing in the MFA Program at Bowling Green State University and as the Visiting Professor of Translation in the Ph.D. Program at the University of California, Irvine. He has a Masters in English and Creative Writing and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to Pulp Sonnets, his books of poetry include Beast in the Apartment; Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki, winner of the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry; The Golem of Los Angeles which won the Poets Prize and the Benjamin Saltman Award in Poetry; Sad Jazz: Sonnets; and Impure: Poems by Tony Barnstone, and a chapbook of poems titled Naked Magic (Main Street Rag). He is also a distinguished translator of Chinese poetry and literary prose and an editor of literary textbooks. His books in these areas include Chinese Erotic Poetry; The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry; Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry; Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei; The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters; and the textbooks Literatures of Asia, Africa and Latin America, Literatures of Asia, and Literatures of the Middle East. His bilingual Spanish/English selected poems, Buda en Llamas: Antología poética (1999-2012) appeared in 2014. He has also co-edited the anthologies Dead and Undead Poems and Monster Verse. Among his awards are the Poets Prize, Grand Prize of the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, the Pushcart Prize in Poetry, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the California Arts Council, the Benjamin Saltman Award in Poetry and the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry. His CD of folk rock/blues songs (in collaboration with singer-songwriters Ariana Hall and John Clinebell, based upon Tongue of War and titled Tokyo’s Burning: World War II Songs) is available on Amazon.com, Rhapsody, and CD Baby. His website is https://www.whittier.edu/academics/english/barnstone Bilal Shaw is a Kashmiri poet and scientist currently working as a senior data science manager at Neustar in West Los Angeles. He and his co-translator Tony Lee have translated the Urdu ghazals of Mir Taqi Mir into English. He completed his PhD in quantum information science from the University of Southern California. In the past he has worked on DNA-based computation and nanotechnology, software architecture, and theoretical self-assembly.