Mir and Ghalib on the beloved’s street

Recently, while browsing through Frances Pritchett's excellent online commentary site on Mir Taqi Mir's poetry, Garden of Kashmir, I chanced upon the following verse: firdaus se kuchh us kī galī meñ kamī nahīñ par sākinoñ meñ vāñ ke koʾī ādamī nahīñ His/her lane is not any less than Paradise But you won't find any humans … Continue reading Mir and Ghalib on the beloved’s street

Ghalib’s "I called it" ghazal

This is a commentary on some verses from Ghalib's "I called it" ghazal in Farsi. The radif of this ghazal is نامیدمش (naamidamash), I named it or I called it. This radif offers a beautiful way to thematically link the couplets in the ghazal. Several of the verses are about delusions and mistakes. The poet … Continue reading Ghalib’s "I called it" ghazal

“The moon waxes big so that it might become your forehead”: Ghalib’s metaphor-inverting verses

The human mind works through metaphors and analogies. And no one understands this better than a poet. In the sub-continental Urdu-Persian poetic tradition, the metaphor was carried to great heights of sophistication during the classical period. The “Indian style” of Persian poetry (sabk-e-hindi)and its allied Urdu tradition became famous (some would say notorious) for their … Continue reading “The moon waxes big so that it might become your forehead”: Ghalib’s metaphor-inverting verses

Ghalib: In captivity I retain the power of flight

After a longish break, we are back with Ghalib. This time we have selected a verse remarkable for its simplicity and its power.{71,4}huu;N giriftaar-e ulfat-e .sayyaadvarnah baaqii hai :taaqat-e parvaaz1) I am captured/captivated by love/affection of the Hunter2) otherwise, strength for flight is still leftClick here for translation and commentary on Desertful of Roses. Click … Continue reading Ghalib: In captivity I retain the power of flight