pesh az dam-e sa;har miraa ronaa lahuu kaa dekh
phuule hai jaise saa;Njh vuhii yaa;N samaa;N hai ab

1) before the moment of dawn, look at my weeping of blood!
2) the way the twilight-redness blooms/flourishes-- here, it is like only/emphatically that, now



saa;Njh : 'Evening, dusk, twilight'. (Platts p.628)


samaan : 'Like, similar, equal, adequate, akin, alike, same, one, uniform'. (Platts p.672)

S. R. Faruqi:

Some people will consider phuule hai jaise saa;Njh to derive from Mir's Prakritic inclination. The claim is true, but here there's more than just this going on. The meaning of saa;Njh can also be 'redness of the evening', while 'evening' [shaam] doesn't mean 'redness of the evening'. There's an idiom shafaq phuulnaa -- that is, 'for the redness of sunset to spread over the sky'. There's also an idiom shaam phuulnaa ; but its meaning is 'for the shadows of evening to spread all around'. In saa;Njh with the meaning of 'redness' a relationship has been created with shafaq phuulnaa meaning 'for the redness of sunset to spread over the sky'; thus the metaphor saa;Njh phuulnaa has been opened out.

Even before the the spreading-out of the dawn, for the scene of the spreading of the redness of sunset to be created because of weeping-- this too is fine.

Dr. Abd ul-Rashid has presented one example apiece of saa;Njh phuulnaa from 'Qissah-e Mihr-afroz o Dilbar' and Sauda. In fact, in 'Qissah-e Mihr-afroz o Dilbar' there's even saa;Njh phuulnaa with the meaning of 'twilight redness'. Alas, that later people gave up such beautiful and fresh words!

[See also {1177,7}.]



Well, this is the kind of verse I find it hard to warm to. The evocation of two idioms at the same time is no doubt a fine feat, and even if ahl-e zabaan like SRF can enjoy it more than we outsiders can, there's still no reason we can't learn to appreciate it. But a verse like this, so lacking in intellectual energy or 'meaning-creation', feels tiresome and trifling. The latter half of the second line is also annoying: 'only/emphatically that here equal/same is now'. It's not eloquent, flowing, meaningful, whatever; it feels like padding and fluff, a waste of a whole chunk of prime poetic real estate.

'I weep so many tears of blood that the pre-dawn sky looks like the sunset sky'-- well, what a yawn. It could almost be grotesque, except that it isn't plausible enough. We have to work hard to imagine something not easy to imagine, something that doesn't have a good physical correlative (because tears basically don't resemble sunlight in either appearance or behavior)-- and then we aren't even rewarded for it.

Compare this verse of Ghalib's, which takes a very similar line ('my passion mirrors the whole cosmos') but does reward us:


Ghalib's verse is immensely richer and more satisfying. It has action, it has 'dramaticness', it has a slyly enjoyable multivalence that's a treat in itself.