Last night the whole world could enjoy this year’s largest and brightest moon due to a combination of full moon, and the fact that the moon was closest to earth in its orbit. I was lucky to see it hanging brightly in the cold, clear Oslo night yesterday. If you missed it, and if the sky is clear where you are, go outside and take in the view!
The moon is a frequent visitor in many of Iqbal’s poems. This is one I like:
Solitude, by Muhammad Iqbal, the “Poet of the East”, from “The Message of the East”
I went up to the ocean and, addressing a wave, said:
‘You’re always restless; tell me what is it that troubles you.
You have a million pearls enfolded in your garment’s skirt,
But do you, like me, have a heart – the only pearl that’s
true ? It squirmed, retreated from the shore, and uttered
not a word.
I went up to the mountain and said, “O huge heap of stone!
Can you not hear the wailing of a heart in agony?
If in your stones there is a gem which is a drop of blood,
Then speak, O speak, to a sad soul that pines for company.
If it had breathed, it breathed no more, and uttered not a word.
I travelled long in upper space, approached the moon, and said:
“O ceaseless wanderer, is there any rest ordained for you?
Your radiance makes the whole world gleam white like a jasmine field.
But is your breast aglow with a live heart whose light shines through?”
She looked round at the starry crops, and uttered not a word.
Transcending sun and moon, I went up to the Throne of God.
“There’s not a thing,” I said, “I can be friends with, not a thing.
Your world is heartless, while my dust is all of heart’s stuff made.
A pretty garden, but not the kind of place to make one sing.”
He answered with the smile He wore, and utterd not a word.