Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great American essayist, poet and philosopher needs no introduction (complete works available online). In Pakistan, the poem ‘Fable,’ included in his anthology Poems, stands out as the best known work of Emerson due to its Urdu adaptation 'Aik Pahar Aur Gulehri' by Iqbal.


The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter 'Little Prig;'
Bun replied,
'You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together,
To make up a year
And a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry.
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track;
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut.'


  1. This too was adapted by Iqbal from a western poet?
    I dint know.Sir, your blog is always very informative.I have learned many things from here, which definitely no one would tell.

  2. OK, now this is my favorite of this series so far!!!! Emerson and Iqbal BOTH shared this understanding - a secret only from those who simply don't have the heart's eyes to see nor the soul's capacity to know how so often it's the small and inconspicuous which confounds the so-called "wise"...

    The deeper and more wide-spread this secret through the works of Emerson, Igbal, Rumi and the Sufis - the more courage we will have as One Humanity to help the Divine living among us bring about the inevitable cataclysmic Paradigm shift with optimum grace, beauty and univeral love.

    I don't know whether or not we have much to say about sooner..but maybe that too?

    THANK YOU for your heart, eye and soul for such a poem and reality in our midst.

  3. Now anxiously waiting for the hidden design to surface………