The Footprint

by Mirza Ghalib

English version by Robert Bly
Original Language Urdu

In this world of infinite possibility
I look around for the second step
of desire--
All I see is one footprint!

-- from The Soul is Here for its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures, Edited by Robert Bly

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/ Image by Roy Lathwell /

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I love this short poem.

His use of "desire" can be read on different levels. On one level we can read this as a love poem and he is simply referring to a man's desire for a woman. But that first line and the final line, they unfold into deeper layers of meaning. His desire can be understood as desire for the Eternal -- sacred yearning.

On that path, there is only one step, then one disappears into the embrace of the Beloved!

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 Footprint