Mirza Ghalib translations

These are modern English translations of Urdu poems by Mirza Ghalib. 

Near Sainthood
by Mirza Ghalib
translation by Kanu V. Prajapati and Michael R. Burch

On the subject of mystic philosophy, Ghalib,
your words might have struck us as deeply profound ...
Hell, we might have pronounced you a saint,
if only we hadn't found
you drunk
as a skunk!

***

Ghazal
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Takaha Shugyo haiku translations

These are my modern English translations of haiku and tanka by Takaha Shugyo.

Oh, fallen camellias,
if I were you,
I'd leap into the torrent!
—Takaha Shugyo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Wild geese pass
leaving the emptiness of heaven
revealed ...
—Takaha Shugyo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Inside the cracked shell
of a walnut:
one empty room.
—Takaha Shugyo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Middle English Translations

These are my modern English translations of some of the very best Middle English poems.

 

This World's Joy
anonymous Middle English poem, circa 1300
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Winter awakens all my care
as leafless trees grow bare.
For now my sighs are fraught
whenever it enters my thought:
regarding this world's joy,
how everything comes to naught.

[MS. Harl. 2253. f. 49r]

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