SRF's translation comes, with his permission, from Mir Taqi Mir: Selected Ghazals and Other Poems, translated by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2019. Murty Classical Library of India; Sheldon Pollock, General Editor. Ghazal 8, pp. 27-29.

S. R. Faruqi:

(1) My body acquired a heart--and flame shot through my body.
The flame was such that the clothes on my body burned.

(2) Fractiousness in this assembly results in wounds and scars.
If you can, let the vein of arrogance in your neck be burned away like the candle's wick.

(3) This fire ultimately covered every particle of my being, like the moon waxing to fullness.
At the start, only the edges of my garment burned like the crescent moon.

(4) How long should I stay here smeared with ashes like a yogi?
I've been sitting here so long that my haunches are burning.

[In India, people often sit on the floor (carpeted or not) or on the ground. They sit cross-legged, or with their legs tucked under their thighs.]

(5) Only he can hope for some warmth from that fiery scintillation of beauty
who fully burns away his heart, his body, as I did.

(6) Spending a night in the garden on the owner's sufferance is not worth it.
Cut through the night by burning the dried leaves and rubbish of the garden.

[In the second line, SRF mistakenly reads gulshan instead of gul;xan .]

(7) My tears dried out, the light went out from my eyes.
Lamps go out, after all, the moment their fuel is spent.

(8) My flame-shooting sighs are really nothing new.
At times fires have been ignited that burned an entire forest.

(9) Some kind of fire smolders in my breast, Mir, and if it ever blazed up
It would incinerate my heap of bones like so much kindling.



(inspired by SRF's translation)

(1) The heart entered the body-- from its heat, the whole body burned.
A spark like this fell-- such that the garment burned.

(2) It's only high-headedness that shows its scars in that gathering.
Let the proud neck-vein be burned like a candle-wick-- if it can be done.

(3) This fire finally spread over me, like the full moon.
Before that, like the crescent moon, my garment-hem had burned.

(4) How long would I sit, inhaling smoke, like a yogi?
I sat so long before your door, my deer-skin carpet burned.

(5) He alone may hope for warmth from that 'spark of fire'
Who would burn up his whole mind and body-- as I have done.

(6) What's the good of begging leave for a night in the garden?
Get through your night by burning grass and straw in a fire-pit.

(7) The moment the tears dried up, light went out of the eyes.
Lamps do go out, when all their oil is burned.

(8) Flame-throwing is nothing so new-- from this sigh
Conflagrations have burned even the whole forest.

(9) Something smolders in my heart; if it ever flares up, Mir,
It will burn my heap of bones like straw.


Zahra Sabri:

Zahra Sabri is a special guest translator for this site.

(1) The body got hold of a heart, and, by its heat, was entirely burned
Such a spark it was that landed that the robe was burned

(2) Rearing the head in revolt is what displays the wound in this gathering
Try and let the vein of pride in the neck be burned like a candle

(3) Now finally, like the full moon takes form, this fire has extended all over me
Earlier, like a crescent moon, only the hem of my robe had burned

(4) For how long shall I remain like the jogis, hunkered down before a fire, inhaling its smoke in penance?
Sitting crouched at your door for so long, my haunches have burned

(5) A person can have hope of warmth from that flaming beauty only
When he’s burned himself body and soul, as I have

(6) If it can only be had with pleas, what worth is spending the night in the garden?
Pass your night by burning kindling in the kiln

(7) As soon as my tears dried, my ability to see departed
Lamps do become extinguished once all the oil has burned

[‘aankhon ka nuur’ literally means ‘light of the eyes’, and by extension is the
‘ability to see’. By connecting this with the second line, Mir plays on the image of

(8) Such flame-scattering is nothing new for this sigh
Forest fires have been ignited that have even burned down entire jungles

(9) Something akin to fire smoulders in my heart; if it ever erupts into a blaze, Mir
It will burn up the heap of my bones like fuel


Tahira Naqvi:

Tahira Naqvi is a guest translator for this site.

(1) The body acquired a heart and then was consumed with fire
Such a spark it was that it burned the garments

(2) It is only rebellion that creates scars in this assembly
If possible burn the vein in the neck like the candle

(3) Now like the full moon the fire enfolds me fully
Before like the new moon it was only the hem of my garment that burned

(4) How long shall I be like a jogi doing penance by the fire
Squatting so long at your door in this posture has burned my thighs

(5) One should only expect the warmth of passion from this flame
When it is someone like me who is ready to burn his mind and his body

(6) What good is that night spent in the garden if it comes after much entreaty
Better to spend your night burning grass and straw in a furnace

(7) The light of the eyes was lost as soon as the tears dried up
The lamps are extinguished as soon as the oil in the lamp burns up

(8) It is not new this scattering of the flame that comes with this sigh
There have been fires that have burned the entire forest

(9) A fire smolders in the heart which if it ever burst into flames Mir
Will burn like kindling the pile of bones that is my body