javaab-e shikvah
stanzas 1 through 5
(*text with stanza numbers*; *serial glossary*)


The thought/word that emerges from the heart has effectiveness,
It has no wing, but it has the power of flight.


==After the first line, the reader expects that the second line might well begin with a qualification, so that the initial par is first read as "but." However, this proves to be a "misdirection" [iihaam], since it turns out to mean "wing," as we learn only from later seeing its derivative parvaaz ("flight"); in a piquant way, the necessary "but" turns out to be supplied by magar instead.
==Here rakhnaa doesn't have the sense of "to keep," but instead is more like "to maintain, to exercise."

It is heavenly in origin, it keeps its gaze on the heights,
It arises from the dust, it maintains a right-of-way over the sky.
My passion was disturbance-creating and high-headed and clever/tricky,
My shameless lament tore open the sky.


The Old Man of the Sky, having heard [something], said, "Somebody's there somewhere!"
The planets spoke: "Somebody's at the top of the celestial sphere!"
  ==As in the case of Shikvah, I'm using exclamation points exactly when the Urdu does, since it seems that they were placed or at least approved by Iqbal.
The moon used to say, "No, it's some earth-dweller!"
The Milky Way used to say, "Somebody is hidden right here!"
If anyone somewhat understood my complaint, then Rizvan understood it--
He understood me to be a man who had been expelled from Paradise!
   ==Rizvan is the angel who acts as the doorkeeper of Paradise.

The angels too were amazed: "What is this voice?!
What-- is this secret not clear/revealed even to the Paradise-dwellers?


==In the first line kih introduces a quotation; in the second line it introduces an explanatory clause in apposition to yih .==The "is" reflects Urdu's traditional strong preference for direct over indirect discourse.

"Does mankind range freely even to the height of the celestial sphere?
Has even a pinch of dust attained flight?
  ==These and the following lines (down to the end of stanza 4) appear to be the words of the Paradise-dwellers who hear the speaker's complaint.
"How heedless of courtesy are the earth-dwellers!
How mischievous and insolent are these dwellers below!
"Mischievous to such an extent that he's angry even with Allah!
The one who received prostrations from the angels-- is this that Adam?
"It's a state of intoxication-- he's a knower of many secrets--
Indeed, but he's unacquainted with the mysteries of powerlessness.

==The Arabic kam , "a multitude, a quantity" (Steingass p.1046), seems more plausible in this context.

"Men pride themselves on their power of speech--
The fools have no skill in conversation!"
A voice came: "Your story is grief-evoking,
Your wine-glass is brimful of restless tears.
  ==Here begins the Lord's reply to the original "Complaint." Appropriately, he addresses the poet with the intimate tuu .
"Your intoxicated warcry/slogan became sky-gripping,
How mischievous-tongued is your mad heart!
"You made your complaint into thanks, through beauty of expression,
You made servants into speech-sharers with the Lord.

*On to stanzas 6-10* -- *"Shikvah" index page*


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