The drop dies in the river

by Mirza Ghalib

English version by W. S. Merwin and Aijaz Ahmad
Original Language Urdu

The drop dies in the river
of its joy
pain goes so far it cures itself

in the spring after the heavy rain the cloud
disappears
that was nothing but tears

in the spring the mirror turns green
holding a miracle
Change the shining wind

the rose led us to our eyes

let whatever is be open

-- from East Window: Poems from Asia, Translated by W. S. Merwin

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I love every line of this poem, but the line I keep rereading is--

the rose led us to our eyes

The rose is both that which is beautiful in nature, but in Sufi poetry it is also a symbol for the Beloved, the Heart of hearts, God. Truly seeing Beauty, we witness ourselves seeing... and only then do we come to witness ourselves. The rose is not merely beautiful; it tells us of the beauty we are in ourselves. And then we bloom!

let whatever is be open



Recommended Books: Mirza Ghalib

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry East Window: Poems from Asia The Soul is Here for its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures Lightning Should Have Fallen on Ghalib Mirza Ghalib: A Creative Biography
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The drop dies in