Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
THE DECAY OF AMERICAN MEDIA — Patrick L. Smith on the decline and fall of American journalism; Peter Lee on China and its Uyghur problem; Dave Macaray on brain trauma, profits and the NFL; Lee Ballinger on the bloody history of cotton. PLUS: “The Vindication of Love” by JoAnn Wypijewski; “The Age of SurrealPolitick” by Jeffrey St. Clair; “The Radiation Zone” by Kristin Kolb; “Washington’s Enemies List” by Mike Whitney; “The School of Moral Statecraft” by Chris Floyd and “The Surveillance Films of Laura Poitras” by Kim Nicolini.
DigarguN hai jahaN taroN ki gardish tez hai Saqi

Ghazal

by MUHAMMAD IQBAL

Translation by M. Shahid Alam

The world changes utterly: the stars spin faster, O Saqi.
In every heart I hear the cry of surrender, O Saqi.

God’s journeymen have lost their arts, their certainty.
Whose artifice deceives them, who has this power, O Saqi.

Weak-willed, weak-hearted, dimly they mope about.
Deep is their need for that life-enhancing elixir, O Saqi.

The Muslim lacks the fire that can ignite his heart.
Why is the birth of spirit so hard to deliver, O Saqi.

There rises none like Rumi from the gardens of ‘Ajam.
Persia is the same, unchanged her sky and water, O Saqi.

Iqbal will not walk away from his fields laid waste.
A little dew and sweat will revive its power, O Saqi.

This dervish is privy to the rites, the rigors of power.
His words are rare, he ignites visions of splendor, O Saqi.


M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, and author of Challenging the New Orientalism: Dissenting Essays on America’s ‘War Against Islam’ (IPI Publications: 2007). He may be reached at alqalam02760@yahoo.com.

© M. Shahid Alam