Allama Iqbal: Two Planets

This is another rescued translation of mine from the previous Aglardh installation.

I came across Allama Iqbal’s poem Two Planets the other day and thought I might give it a try. I rearranged the rhyme structure a little bit in the first half out of necessity. The original was written in Urdu, which I don’t speak, so I worked from the English translation. I can only hope I have not turned the poem into a game of Chinese whispers.

Randu oménet anta lann’ anta,
Sé yalle héna, “Nai nauva,
orrahtuvamme voro,
Ar sis lemyuvamme tenn’oio,
Qui Menel lavuva titta,
Ar kalammat minenna erta!”
Mal ter i xaráre ostimenna
Lamyane i lenwe‐yále.
I éli querir úvírime hinna,
Sorne ostiennar naute;
Oira ertasse ná lóre,
Ar nehtale or ambar ture.

The original:

Two planets meeting face to face,
One to the other cried, ‘How sweet
If endlessly we might embrace,
And here for ever stay! how sweet
If Heaven a little might relent,
And leave our light in one light blent!’
But through that longing to dissolve
In one, the parting summons sounded.
Immutably the stars revolve,
By changeless orbits each is bounded;
Eternal union is a dream,
And severance the world’s law supreme.


*rando n. “planet, lit. wanderer” inspired by Rána and the Hungarian word for planet bolygó
anta lann’ anta: an attempt to render the idiom, there’re probably better ways
nai nauva: another idiom, sg like “oh if it were that”
*orrahta‐ vb “reach around, hug, embrace” os + rahta‐ < RAK
lav‐ vb “yield, allow”
*yále n. “a call, summons” YAL
*ostie n. “orbit, lit. round‐path”

If you want a more in-depth discussion on this topic you can do it on Aglardh Forum