For whose best description is my art waiting,
Well, paper is the raiment of all such works.

I cannot put in words how my loneliness haunts me,
Passing the night all alone is like Farhad*... toiling.

Ah, to surrender one's will just like a whimper,
For a sword is sharpest at its centre!

To all those who can't grasp my verses,
May God bless them with keen understanding.

Even in poverty O heart, no chain can bind me,
Every fetter is frail, like grey hair... falling.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Translated on June 27, 2002. Readers who can read and understand Urdu would enjoy the original even more.
Farhad is the famous lover in Persian literature who laboured to make rivers of milk flow from mountains. Read the story of Shireen & Farhad. The analogy used by Ghalib is again indicative of his inimitable style. The great poet was not appreciated by many of his contemporaries...the lamentation is clearly seen in this ghazal of his which happens to be the first one in his published anthology of Urdu poetry called "Diwaan-e-Ghalib".

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saiom's picture

Muhammed, Allah shower you with blessings for
translating this


deborah's picture

An appetite
too hungry to be satisfied
this path of my hand
starved to write.
gnarled fingers
calloused and bent,
to scratch upon a paper,
my meaningless self
proclaiming to exclaim
to the world
what is wrong or right,
This starvation that bites,
gnaws and craves to lay down script,
which words would be read and understood?
Who shall listen in the end,
who could glean an ounce of truth?
For in the obvious end
we crave it still
the last word.

deborah russell - 2002