An Ode to Taj Mahal by: Dr Shihab Ghanem










An Ode to Taj Mahal by: Dr Shihab Ghanem

To what shall I compare this beauty?
Where art has achieved perfection
Surpassing in creativity all dreams
Embodying the ultimate.
* * * * *
Do I see in you a tomb or a palace?
Shining like a crown on the head of Agra,
Adding magic to the full moon in the azure sky,
Breathing poetry in the ears of the universe.
* * * * *
Relating a tale of beauty, expired in her prime,
After living protected luxury
Oh woe for the catastrophe of Shah Jahan!
For death has extinguished the light of the Mahal.
* * * * *
How can he express his devastating grief?
How can he retrieve that treasure lost under the dust?
Can he create a replicate beauty
Cast in the durable marble of those domes?
* * * * *

Ah! For the hands of love!
They have created a beauty most sublime
Challenging prose, nay poetry
Speaking in verses of living marble
* * * * *

When you are immersed in the rays of the moon
And a zephyr blows like the notes of a guitar,
A soulful lover looks on, entranced
Drunk with the wine of your dazzling beauty
* * * * *

The claws of death will ravish the world
And beauty will be torn by the storms of centuries
But you will remain a Mecca for art,
A lasting pilgrimage of love.

Agra, 1969

NB: Dr. Shihab M. Ghanem is a prominent personality in Arab Literature. He has published 60 books including 16 books of verse in Arabic plus 2 in English, 24 volumes of translated verse, Arabic to English, and from other languages to Arabic via English, and 19 books in prose.   

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