Ghazal 80, Verse 7

{80,7}

sa:tvat se tere jalvah-e ;husn-e ;Gayuur kii
;xuu;N hai mirii nigaah me;N rang-e adaa-e gul

1) from the grandeur of your glory/appearance of jealous/proud beauty
2) [it] is displeasing/'blood in my sight/gaze'-- the color/style of the charm/coquetry of the rose

Notes:

sa:tvat : 'Impetuosity; force, violence; power, authority, dominion; awfulness, awe, majesty'. (P)latts p.661)

 

;Gayuur : 'Very jealous (in point of love or honour); high-minded'. (Platts p.774)

 

adaa : 'Grace, beauty; elegance; graceful manner on carriage; charm, fascination; blandishment; amorous signs and gestures, coquetry'. (Platts p.31)

Nazm:

That is, because of your pride you don't know what kind of coquetry would please the lover. For this reason, the color of the rose is blood in my sight; that is, it doesn't please me. (81)

== Nazm page 81

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The meaning is that since your pride doesn't want your lover to be infatuated with any other beloved, the color of flowers, in my eyes, has no more value than blood. (129-30)

Bekhud Mohani:

The beloved's proud beauty has made such a deep effect on my heart that the coquetry of the rose doesn't please me. (168)

Josh:

The distance of the possessive kii from sa:tvat [in the first line] has created a verbal convolution [ta((qiid-e laf:zii]. (167)

FWP:

SETS
GAZE: {10,12}
JALVAH: {7,4}

Nazm takes the rose to be the beloved, and the other commentators in general take the rose to be a competitor of the beloved. I think they're right, and Nazm has got this one wrong. For the lover to arrogantly reject the beloved's coquetry, just for the hell of it, is so wild and unusual a notion that it needs to make an exceptionally rich meaning if it is to justify itself. Here, pretty clearly, it does not.

The first line really piles it on-- her grandeur, her jealous radiance of beauty, all unified, as Josh points out, by a kii that's as far as possible from its noun. (Josh considers this a flaw, but such retrospective judgments aren't usually of any great poetic relevance.)

It's easy to imagine that such commanding beauty might not brook any competition. This exclusiveness might be due to the beloved's overpowering grandeur and radiance in itself (as Bekhud Mohani says); or it might be an effect of her watchful hyper-jealousy, that requires the lover not to enjoy even the color of a flower (as Bekhud Dihlavi maintains). The prominent inclusion of ;Gayyuur , 'jealous', among the attributes of the beloved's beauty seems to go in Bekhud Dihlavi's direction.

The wordplay of redness-- blood, color/style, rose-- is at the heart of the verse. All the commentators I've looked at consider kisii kii nigaah me;N ;xuu;N honaa to mean nothing more than 'to be displeasing to someone'. I wish there were a richer, more 'colorful' (so to speak) idiomatic meaning as well. But the verse invites us to expand the meaning in our minds. After all, the lover's own eyes are constantly swimming with tears of blood, so he may see the 'color' of the rose through this literal redness as well.