Ghazal 182, Verse 3x

{182,3x}

junuu;N kar ay chaman-ta;hriir-e dars-e sha;Gl-e tanhaa))ii
nigaah-e shauq ko .sa;hraa bhii diivaan-e ;Gazaalii hai

1) practice/'do' madness, oh 'garden-writing' of the lesson of the employment of solitude!
2) to the gaze of ardor, even/also the desert is the divan of Ghazali

Notes:

ta;hriir : 'Setting at liberty, manumission; — writing elegantly and accurately; writing, description; a written statement or declaration'. (Platts p.312)

 

dars : 'Reading, learning to read; a lecture; a lesson, exercise'. (Platts p.512)

 

sha;Gl : 'Business, occupation, employment, labour, study; anything to occupy or divert; diversion, pastime, amusement'. (Platts p.728)

 

diivaan : 'A complete series of odes or other poems by one author running through the whole alphabet (the rhymes of the first class terminating in alif, the second in be, and so on); — the collected writings of an author'. (Platts p.560)

Zamin:

The one who would be addressed is habituated to solitude (he keeps taking lessons in solitude), and in that state he also keeps writing something. This writing is from beginning to end in 'garden-writing' [;xa:t-e gulzaar] (it is chaman-ta;hriir ). Addressing this person, the poet says, 'Practice madness (enjoy the pleasure of madness and solitude)! What will come of practicing madness? If your gaze is the gaze of ardor, then in the pages of this very desert (corner) of solitude you will see those very themes that would be comparable to the themes of the divan of Gazali.' Since a gazelle depends on the desert, to examine the theme of desert-sitting he has selected the divan of Gazali. (344)

Gyan Chand:

The 'employment of solitude' is poetry. The 'lesson of the employment of solitude' is the lesson of poetry-- that is, the pages of verse. The 'garden-writing of the lesson of the employment of solitude' is the poet who, for the sake of others, sits in solitude in order to read/study, and creates verses that are like a garden. Oh poet, adopt madness. For the gaze that has the ardor of passion, even/also the wilderness is a divan of verses. Gazali is a poet.

== Gyan Chand, p. 351

FWP:

SETS == POETRY
DESERT: {3,1}
GAZE: {10,12}
MADNESS: {14,3}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; I thought it was interesting and have added it myself. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

The 'divan of Ghazali' refers to the (Persian) poetry of Ghazali Mashhadi (1526-1572), who was Akbar's poet laureate.

The commentators take the addressee in the first line to be the aspiring poet/lover. But grammatically, the addressee is a calligraphic style, 'garden-writing'. On their reading, the poet himself is apparently a polished product of the 'lesson of the employment of solitude', so that he can be metaphorically addressed as a passage in fancy calligraphy.

Alternatively, if the address is really to the 'garden-writing' itself, then the 'garden-writing of the lesson of the employment of solitude' is being urged to work a kind of mad magic on the crazed poet/lover who wanders alone in the desert. And of course, to demand that a passage of fancy calligraphy do something is a further sign of madness in the speaker.