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“Two Planets” is a philosophical poem by Allama Muhammad Iqbal, a prominent figure in the Indian independence movement. The poem, originally written in Urdu as “Do Sitare,” was translated into English by A.J. Arberry. The poem metaphorically portrays two planets, each representing different aspects of human nature and desires. Through this allegory, Iqbal explores the dualities and inner conflicts faced by individuals in their quest for self-realization and fulfillment. The verses are rich with symbolic imagery and deep meanings, offering a profound and contemplative experience. “Two Planets” remains one of Allama Iqbal’s enduring works, resonating with readers across generations.
About the poet
Allama Muhammad Iqbal, known as the “Spiritual Father of Pakistan,” is known for his inspirational poetry, which explores self-discovery, spiritual awakening, and the quest for a higher purpose in life. Sir Muhammad Iqbal was a South Asian Muslim writer, scholar, and politician. He was a prominent figure in Pakistan, known for his Urdu poetry and his vision of a cultural and political ideal for British Raj Muslims. Iqbal’s works, including Asrar-e-Khudi, Rumuz-e-Bekhudi, and Bang-e-Dara, are considered among the greatest of the twentieth century.
Two planets meeting face to face, One to the other cried, ‘How sweet If endlessly we might embrace, And here for ever stay! how sweet If Heaven a little might relent, And leave our light in one light blent!’
In these lines, the speaker describes a situation in which two planets appear to be meeting and conversing with one another. The first planet conveys the longing that they could share an eternal embrace and be together. The speaker adds that it would be lovely if Heaven permitted their lights to become one.
The poem’s illustration of two planets symbolizes the desire of souls for a profound bond and the blending of their identities. The everlasting embrace of the planets, which reflects our longing for lasting bonds and connections, expresses the desire of the planets for unity. The mention of Heaven implies that this yearning also pertains to spiritual things. The merging of the lights represents the transcendence of physical barriers and the uniting of souls or essences. The poem highlights the beauty of unity and the notion that ultimate pleasure consists in discovering and embracing our counterparts, whether in the physical or spiritual realm, and expresses the common human need for connection, love, and eternal togetherness.
But through that longing to dissolve In one, the parting summons sounded. Immutably the stars revolve, By changeless orbits each is bounded; Eternal union is a dream, And severance the world’s law supreme.
The speaker contemplates the two planets’ desire to combine and be together forever in these lines. However, their longing is cut short by the reality of the parting summons, which indicates that they must eventually part ways. The speaker notes that each celestial body is constrained by its own route and that the stars in the sky follow orbits that are constant and unchanging. The planets yearn for eternal unity, yet according to the laws of the universe, they must undergo severance.
The parting summons represents the two planets’ longing for eternal togetherness and permanent relationships in a constantly changing universe, representing the truth of life when nothing stays constant. The fixed orbits of the stars contrast with the planets’ longing for uniting showing the basic principles that govern the universe. The poem examines the conflict between the desire for permanence and the knowledge of impermanence. It serves as a reminder to the reader of the transient nature of existence and the necessity of accepting the inevitableness of change and separation. Despite the complexity of human emotions and wants, the poem’s use of rhyme and rhythm strengthens its musical quality and underlines ideas of harmony and balance in the universe.