Ghazal 8, Verse 5x


asad har jaa su;xan ne :tar;h-e baa;G-e taazah ;Daalii hai
mujhe rang-e bahaar-iijaadii-e bedil pasand aayaa

1) Asad, everywhere poetry/speech has produced/presented the pattern/style of a fresh garden
2) the color/style of the spring-creation of Bedil pleased me


Gyan Chand:

Bedil's poetry has everywhere created many new themes. The manner in which he has carved out many new springtimes pleased me. bahaar-iijaadii and :tar;h-e baa;G-e taazah ;Dalnaa both have the same meaning, and both are connected with Bedil's poetry. (64)



For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of Faruqi's choices, but I'm including it anyway because of the literary interest of its contents.

The first line presents itself as a general statement: poetry is everywhere full of vitality and innovation. Then the second line may be the one that singles out Bedil for particular praise. Or else the implication may be that Bedil is the one who's responsible for creating this fresh spring garden of style.

Ghalib may well be alluding to tazah-go))ii , 'fresh-speaking', a style of Persian poetry that is often associated with the work of Bedil and certain other Indo-Persian poets. For more on this complex kind of metaphysical poetry, see Paul E. Losensky, Welcoming Fighani: Imitation and Poetic Individuality in the Safavid-Mughal Ghazal (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 1998). This style is also often called sabk-e hindii , 'Indian style', and is said to feature 'metaphorical conceits, personification, proverbs, poetic etiology, unusual imagery, colloquialisms, tangled syntax, ellipses, and so forth' (p. 3). Later on, Losensky elaborates:

Most of these features, however, are direct consequences of an overriding concern for the startling and unexpected metaphor or turn of thought. Both inanimate objects and concepts are frequently personified, and concrete images often become elements of abstract thought. On the linguistic level, grammar and meter are pushed to their limits, and the sonority and niceties of poetic language are sometimes neglected. Under these circumstances, ambiguity ( iihaam ) can flourish on many levels, syntactical, referential, and metaphorical. Depending on the skill of the poet, such ambiguities can be a mere cause of confusion or a resource for exploring the full implications of a conceit. Whatever the case, the result of all these features is the brevity of language and density of poetic meaning known as iijaaz ['abridging, epitomizing']. Finally, poets of this school often turned to colloquial language as yet another source of novelty, disrupting the long-established poetic lexicon and stock of topoi with popular idioms, informal usages, and folksy aphorisms. By the standards of earlier periods, these are perhaps poetic lapses, brought about by ever more elaborate chains of poetic reasoning forced into the compass of a single verse; in the context of the fresh style, they appear as yet another manifestation of the new, another way of catching the reader's or listener's attention. (202-03)

To any serious reader of Ghalib, this all sounds entirely familiar. The present verse, like so many in the divan, is very early (1816). In the last few years of his life (c.1866) Ghalib looked back, not very accurately, on this early 'metaphysical' poetry; for that letter and discussion of it, see {155,3}.

Compare the unreceptive autumnal garden in {154,6x}.

What is nowadays said (apparently on no evidence) to be Bedil's tomb, in Delhi (photo courtesy of Sohail Hashmi, Feb. 2010):