Monday, November 12, 2007

Poet of the Week-Muhammad Iqbal

He is Pakistan's national treasure. The great Poet Iqbal. He is to Pakistan as Shakespeare is to the English world. He was a poet, philosopher, and politician. To read more about his history you can check here.

To me, in the poetic realm he was influencial because he spoke of aligning the Self to the great will which he refered to as Allah. It definitely had elements of man as God because his writings reflected the notion that the universe bowed to the the will of Self. That is what is attractive to me. He illuminated my world view through the work of poetry and imbuded my 'atheism' with an element of sacredness.

His works are numerable Here is one of his poems

Selfhood can demolish the magic of this world; (from Baal-i-Jibreel)

Selfhood can demolish the magic of this world;
But our belief in The One is not comprehended by all.

Have a seer's eye, and light will dawn on thee;
As a river and its waves cannot remain apart.

The light of God and knowledge are not in rivalry,
But so the pulpit believes, afraid of Hallaj's rope.

Contentment is the shield for the pure and the noble
A shield in slavery, and a shield in power.

In the East the soul looks in vain for light;
In the West the light is a faded cloud of dust.

The fakirs who could shatter the power and pelf of kings
No longer tread this earth, in climes far or near.

The spirit of this age is brimful with negations,
And drained to the fast drop is the power of faith.

Muted is Europe's lament on its crumbling pageant,
Muted by the delirious beats, the clangour of its music.

A sleepy ripple awaits, to swell into a wave
A wave that will swallow up monsters of the sea.

What is slavery but a loss of the sense of beauty?
What the free call beautiful, is beautiful indeed.

The present belongs to him who explores, in their depths,
The fathomless seas of time, to find the future's pearl.

The alchemist of the West has turned stone into glass
But my alchemy has transmuted glass into flint

Pharaohs of today have stalked me in vain;
But I fear not; I am blessed with Moses' wand.

The flame that can set afire a dark, sunless wood,
Will not be throttled by a straw afloat in the wind.

Love is self-awareness; love is self-knowledge;
Love cares not for the palaces and the power of kings.

I will not wonder if I reach even the moon and the stars,
For I have hitched my wagon to the star. of all stars.

First among the wise, last of the Prophets,
Who gave a speck of dust the brightness of the Mount.

He is the first and last in the eyes of love;
He is the Word of God. He is the Word of God.

To view some more of his poetry check here

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