Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ghalib's ghazal 120

See Prof. Fran Prichett's site for an intoxicating analysis of this Ghazal.

My bare existence baits their rage, not my barbarous bird cage
My lament so unlamented by the song trappers of the age...

Mimetic desire, were a refining fire, Lord, thy Perfection to gauge.
Did not the thymotic rival, for very survival, my affection engage

My heart’s wounds, not adept to suture, the eye of the needle wept
Eyes dry in my operation theater, she'll cry on the Opera stage!

To what tug-of-war hast thou, Lord, set, shameless, all hands to wage?
To tug at a heart, or by literary art, tosser, tugging’s guilt to assuage?

Breakers of our bloody sea, breasts to storm Cuchulain's rage
To see thy steed perform, we agree to at thy Blenheim engage

Madam, you’re a talker, I’m sentenced as a stalker, but mark my apercu sage
'ware Iron, a She, Turk irony!, epiphanies of Tiffany’s manacle thy mage!

Rain clouds gather over my fields like my few fond memories over this page
This happiness, too, that harvest which You, to the lightning, pre-engage...

The Brahman bury 'neath Ka'ba's stone for his heart's its sarcophagal rage
For Love & Faith, Death & Truth- atone as the pullulation of like phage.

 Being by day of all wealth robbed, by no terror of theft is my night daubed
To Tear’s Saqi, eyes sobbed, Death’s the dyvour debtor, I'm underage.

Greedy of thine and mine, poets mine each other to our Gokturk undermine
 & witless, but witness the gold digging ants of our own credulous page

I’m a court poet- djinn to the staff of the Solomon of the Age
Whose fortune can’t befall another- or my Firdausi engage.

Ghalib's contempt for Farhad is well known. Was it because, proud of his Turkish heritage, Ghalib sensed the truth of the legend that the Turks are descended from a slave blacksmith/miner class, in the Altai mountains, who rebelled and founded a vast Empire?

After all, Ghalib served a Timurid (Timur means 'iron') who, like the dead Solomon, propped up by his staff, whom the djinns obeyed, yet by virtue of a certain sort of wisdom, a penchant for poetry of a certain type, nevertheless commanded a not wholly undeserved  respect, though termites were eating through his prop and the final debacle little delayed.


Sanjay K said...

Very beatifoooool ghazal, Ustadji.
Truly you are a-

Petal of that Rose which Petrarch plucked
& progeny of the goat Wordsworth fucked

windwheel said...

@Sanjay- Petrarch's rose? What rose might that be? Dante's rose in the Paradiso I know about.
Since when did a little rent boy like you get interested in roses? I thought the likes of you hung around the Qutub Minar, despite Shiela Dick-shit Aunty putting up all those notices saying it was like totally forbidden for you to stuff it up your arse.
Mind you, that was the only good thing that came out of the Commonwealth games- so just fucking behave is all I'm saying.