Why I Don’t Worry

The sorrows of the world are truly abundant; but wine is abundant too.
I’m a slave of Heaven’s wine-seller, so I don’t worry.

Your style of torture is well known to all of us.
I don’t feel it’s unjust that you love the other one more.

If someone is not afraid of the Day of Judgement,
It’s hard to know how my words could have much effect.

In poetry circles, Ghalib’s pen is known to scatter fire.
But I don’t think there’s much fire in his words now.


[Translated from the Urdu by Robert Bly and Sunil Dutta]


Mirza Mohammad Asadullah Khan Ghalibbegan writing poetry in Persian at the age of nine and the pre-eminent poet of the time, Mir, predicted a great future for the precocious genius when he was shown his verse But success and material rewards did not come to Ghalib easily for the times were against him. Ghalib was at the height of his powers when events took a turn for the worse. First came the decline of the Mughal court, then the rise of the British Empire and, finally, the Revolt of 1857. When he died, on 15 February 1869, he left behind some of the most vivid accounts of the events of the period ever written. (adapted from http://www.penguinbooksindia.com)

Robert Bly has had a profound impact on the shape of American poetry. He is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, including The Night Abraham Called to the Stars (HarperCollins, 2001); Snowbanks North of the House (1999); What Have I Ever Lost by Dying?: Collected Prose Poems (1992); Loving a Woman in Two Worlds (1987); Mirabai Versions (1984); This Body is Made of Camphor and Gopherwood (1977); and The Light Around the Body (1967), which won the National Book Award. (from www.poets.org)

Sunil Dutta is a biologist as well as a student of classical Indian music and literature. He is helping to preserve the ancient musical tradition called Dhrupad singing in India. He was born in Jaipur, India, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. (from www.authortracker.ca)

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