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February 15, 2021

On Ghalib and his complex metaphors

Karachi

February 15, 2021

The Arts Council of Pakistan held a special talk, titled ‘Ghalib Fahmi’, in connection with the death anniversary of Mirza Ghalib.

Scholar Dr Noman-ul-Haq spoke about various aspects of Ghalib that made him one of the greatest poets ever whose works continued to appear fresh despite the passage of more than a century. Journalist Peerzada Salman moderated the session.

The speaker highlighted the aspects of Sabk-e-Hindi in Ghalib’s Urdu poetry, Sabk-e-Hindi refers to the school of Persian poetry that developed in India and its characteristics that make the Persian poetry in India different from the Persian poetry of Iran.

Dr Haq said making complex metaphors has been the hallmark of Sabk-e-Hindi and Ghalib’s poetry is full of complex metaphors. He explained that in Sabk-e-Hindi metaphors are treated as a reality and then more metaphors are derived from that imagined reality.

He quoted many verses of Ghalib depicting complex metaphors and added that even Faiz Ahmed Faiz had borrowed this aspect from Ghalib when he wrote structures like “Gardan-e-Mehtab Main Banhain” and “kis qadar pyar se ay jaan-e-jahan rakha hai/dil ke rukhsar pe is waqt teri yaad ne haat”.

One of the verses of Ghalib that he quoted was “Woh nigahein kyun hui jaati hain yaa rab dil ke paar/ Jo meri kotahi-e-qismat se mizgaan ho gayeen.”

The speaker also mentioned the dexterity of Ghalib in employing sounds, due to which his poetry had a mysterious and majestic aura that captured the attention of the readers even if they were not able to comprehend the verse.

The session was attended by notable poets and intellectuals of the city who also commented on the genius of Ghalib.

According to a statement issued by the Arts Council, the speaker also called Ghalib the greatest prose writer of his time.