The Coal to a Diamond

My stuff is so vile, I am less than dust
while your gleam rends the mirror’s heart.
My darkness lights the chafing-dish
before I am incinerated. A miner’s boot
tramples my head, covering me with ashes.

Do you know my life’s gist?
A condensed sliver of smoke, transformed
into a single spark, in feature and nature
starlike, your every facet a splendor,
light of the king’s eye, the dagger’s jewel.

Friend, be wise, the diamond replied, assume
a bezel’s dignity! Loam strives to harden
to fill my bosom with radiance. Burn
because you are soft. Banish fear and grief.
Be hard as stone, be diamond.

Written originally in Urdu
Translated by Rafiq Kathwari

0:00
0:00