mumkin nahii;N kih gul kare vaisii shiguftagii
is sar-zamii;N me;N tu;xm-e mu;habbat mai;N bo chukaa

1) it's not possible that {the rose would create / there would be apparent / one would extinguish} such flourishing/expansiveness
2) in this tract of ground I {already sowed / am through with sowing} the seed of love



gul karnaa : 'To extinguish (a candle or lamp)'. (Platts p.911)


gul kardan : 'To extinguish, to snuff (a candle); to become apparent, manifest'. (Steingass p.1093)


shiguftagii : 'Expanding of a flower, blooming; bloom; beauty; flourishing state or condition; expansion (of the heart), delight, pleasure; astonishment'. (Platts p.732)

S. R. Faruqi:

gul karnaa = to be manifest, apparent.



In the first divan itself, he's also used this theme like this [{110,3}]:

ay abr us chaman me;N nah hogaa gul-e ummiid
yaa;N tu;xm-e yaas-e ashk ko mai;N phir ke bo diyaa

[oh cloud, in that garden there will not be a rose of hope
here, I turned and sowed the seeds-of-despair of tears]

But in {110,3} there are a number of words of padding, and the 'vasokht' too is taken to an unnecessary degree. In the present verse there's a dignified melancholy, and the ambiguity of the word gul too is very meaningful. Then, bo chukaa also has two meanings: one that 'I sowed', and the other that 'I will never sow' [that is, 'I'm through with sowing, I'll have nothing to do with sowing!'].

The ambiguity of 'in this tract of ground' and 'such flourishingness' too is worth our attention. 'This tract of ground' could be the world, or it could be some particular tract of ground, or it could be the heart of some new beloved. 'Such flourishingness' also carries the suggestion that previously I had sometime, somewhere, sowed the seeds of love and they had flourished finely; at this time, or in this place, they will flourish somewhat-- but not so remarkably.

A blooming rose is also used as a metaphor for a bloody heart, as if for the flower of the heart to bloom is, in reality, for the heart to become bloody. That is, in passion, success is in truth this: that the heart would turn to blood; and this time there's no possibility of the heart's turning to blood.

The theme of the seeds of love being sown in the heart, Mir Hasan too has used. But in his verse there's not the double meaning that there is in Mir's verse:

be;x-o-bunyaad-e nihaal-e ((ishq ko barbaad de
aah mai;N tu;xm-e mu;habbat dil me;N kyuu;N bone lagaa

[destroy the roots of the plant of passion!
ah, why did I begin to sow seeds of love in the heart?]

It should be kept in mind that in Mir's verse that if we take gul karnaa in its idiomatic Persian meaning of 'to be manifest', then one meaning that emerges is that now such flourishingness will not be manifest.

[See also {124,2}.]



Well, here's a wonderful study in idiomatic usages. In the first line, we seem to have three distinct possibilities:

=1) 'It's not possible that the rose would make/create such flourishingness' (the literal meaning).

=2) 'It's not possible that such flourishingness as might be expected would in fact be apparent/manifest' (the Persian idiom endorsed by SRF and Steingass).

=3) 'It's not possible that anyone would or could extinguish such flourishingness' (the Persian/Urdu idiom endorsed by Platts and Steingass, of which there are many examples in actual poetic usage).

Each of these possibilities can readily mesh with the second line, in different ways:

=1) '...because I've already sowed the seeds of love, which are far more potent and proliferative.'

=2) '...because what I've already sowed is the seeds of love, which are doomed to spring up and then wither without coming into their prime.'

=3) '...because what I've already sowed is the seeds of love, which have taken root and will in due course crowd out everything else.'

These ambiguities are helped along, of course, by the possible idiomatic usage of bo chukaa to mean something like 'I'm through with sowing, I'll have nothing to do with sowing!'; this reading could generate a whole additional set of possibilities; I won't go through and ring all the changes.

There's also the multivalence of 'in this tract of ground'. What tract of ground? Some metaphorical 'ground' of lovers' lives in particular, or of life in this world in general? Or the fertile soil of the lover's own heart? Or the stony ground of the beloved's heart?

And these ambiguities are also helped along by the similar multivalence of 'such'. It could casually refer merely to quantity (a large amount of flourishingness); or else it could identify some particular previously-identified quality of flourishness (the kind we would expect, the kind it usually has, the kind the seeds of love have, etc.). Thus the door is wide open for ironic readings too.