.sad shukr kih daa;G-e dil afsurdah hu))aa varnah
yih shu((lah bha;Raktaa to ghar-baar jalaa jaataa

1) a hundred thanks, that the wound of the heart became dispirited/'cold'; otherwise,
2) if this flame had flared up, then it would have burned up house and home



afsurdah : 'Frozen, frigid, benumbed; withered, faded; dispirited, dejected, low-spirited, melancholy'. (Platts p.62)


ghar-baar : 'House and home; a house and premises; dwelling-place; —family; household; —household goods'. (Platts p.931)

S. R. Faruqi:

Consider the meaningful aspects of Mir's verse. For the wound of the heart to become dispirited/cold-- that is, for passion to decline-- and for the flame to flare up-- that is, for passion to become uncontrollable-- what stage of despair, or lack of courage, or disconnection from the world, would the speaker have reached, to be at the point where this verse would have emerged from his lips! One in which at the cooling of the fire of passion, happiness would be expressed. In order to compose such a verse, an uncommon courage is required.

But it's also possible that this verse might be expressing the state of affairs after death-- that it was good that before passion became uncontrollable, death came to the speaker, and this flame became cold. Otherwise, if somehow this fire had flared up, then not to speak of himself, it would have turned his whole house and home (that is, those innocent ones who have no connection with it) to ashes.

Then please also notice that the thing that he's called in the first line a 'wound/scar' (that is, the thing becomes visible after the fire has been extinguished, or the thing that can be seen after making the claim of fire)-- in the second line he has called that thing a 'flame'. That is, having once touched the fire of passion, when the heart emerged; a wound/scar was left on it. But even in this wound/scar there was such energy that the wound/scar had a color like that of flame. It's a fine verse.

The same theme, at a very low level, he has expressed in the first divan [{79,5}]:

;Gaafil nah rahyo hargiz naa-daan daa;G-e dil se
bha;Rkegaa jab yih shu((lah tab ghar jalaa rahegaa

[don't at all remain heedless, foolish one, of the wound of the heart!
when this flame will flare up, then it won't stop till it's burned down the house]

In the case of the present verse, Hasrat Mohani has given the last word of the first line as apnaa instead of varnah and, ascribing the verse to Mir Soz, has made the objection that in the first line the pause [vaqfah} comes after daa;G-e dil , while the utterance at that point remains incomplete. He has identified this fault [((aib] as 'improper breaking' [shikast-e naa-ravaa] (in his ma((aa))b-e su;xan ). I have provided a detailed discussion of this problem in my book ((aruu.z aahang aur bayaan . For the present it's sufficient to repeat that if 'improper breaking' is even a fault at all, then it doesn't occur in this verse. There can be doubt whether 'improper breaking' is a fault, because the Persian scholars of meter haven't mentioned it. This is because in our meter (that is, in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu meter) the concept of 'pause' [vaqfah] doesn't even exist. Qazi Abdul Vudud has clearly affirmed that a fault called 'improper breaking' isn't mentioned in any old Persian book.

Many obvious examples of 'improper breaking' are also readily apparent in the work of poets like Momin. This shows that at least up until Momin's time they didn't conceive of it as a fault. Consider these verses of Momin's:

jaa))o to jaa))o suu-e dushman suu-e falak kyuu;N
ay garm naalah'haa-e aatish-figan ga))e ho

[if you go, then go toward the enemy-- why toward the sky?
oh hot fire-scattering laments, you have gone!]

In both lines, the pause has fallen in such a way that the i.zaafat phrase (which has a right to be unified) has been broken into two fragments.

dil le ke vafaa kaisii par qaul to denaa thaa
ay siim-tan-aafat hai tuu muft burii itnii

[having taken the heart, how could there be faithfulness? --but you should have given your word!
oh silver-bodied disaster, you are so evil for nothing!]

In the second line the pause falls after hai , although grammar makes a claim for the pause to fall after tuu .

[See also {734,7}.]



Note for meter fans: This is the kind of meter that has a 'quasi-caesura' in the middle, because it has the metrical structure 'foot A / foot B / foot A / foot B'. In such meters each half of the line can almost feel like an independent line in a short meter. so it's not surprising that it may optionally have an extra word-final short syllable at the halfway point, since this is what a line may normally have at its end. Most of the time the classical ghazal poets have made use of this 'quasi-caesura' by treating it as a breaking point in the semantic context. Thus they have often found it convenient for special effects, such as internal rhyming syllables. The poet can also use its presence to provide valuable grammatical clues, to help the reader know where phrases begin and end in the totally unpunctuated world of the verse line. (Remember, any punctuation you ever see in a classical ghazal divan has been imposed by naively 'helpful' modern editors.)

Hasrat Mohani's objection is that in the first line the poet has ignored the quasi-caesura: the semantic break comes well before it, and then the grammar runs right over it without stopping. SRF makes two main points in reply: theoretically speaking, no quasi-caesura is known to the tradition before Hasrat Mohani; and practically speaking, the classical ghazal poets have felt quite free to ignore this alleged quasi-caesura at their pleasure, often much more flagrantly than Mir has done in the first line.

Hasrat Mohani's critique comes in a work called 'The defects of poetry' [ma((aa))iib-e su;xan] (Kanpur, 1941), and I've always been perplexed by his whole enterprise. If you want to explicate the poetics and metrical usages of the classical ghazal, why begin by proclaiming your own arbitrary new rules that are derived neither from traditional poetic theory nor from traditional poetic practice? Whether or not Ghalib and Mir conform to such newly-restrictive after-the-fact rules, who cares? Hasrat Mohani's rules don't help us understand or appreciate the body of ghazal poetry we've actually got, nor do they point the way to a viable future poetry, so what good are they?