Ghazal 214, Verse 12


;husn-e furo;G-e sham((-e su;xan duur hai asad
pahle dil-e gudaa;xtah paidaa kare ko))ii

1) the beauty of the brightness/radiance of the candle of poetry/speech is far off, Asad
2) first someone would/might/should create a melted/dissolved heart


furo;G : 'Illumination, light, brightness, splendour; flame; --glory, fame, honour'. (Platts p.780)


That is, like a candle, first one would create a melted heart; after that, one would long for the brightness of the flame of poetry. (243)

== Nazm page 243

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, first, like a candle, one would create a melted heart; after that one would long and yearn for the brightness of the flame of poetry. (302)

Bekhud Mohani:

The one who wishes for there to be pleasure in his speech, ought first to create burning and melting in his heart. (439)


An early analysis of this verse from 'A Ghazal by Ghalib', in The Secret Mirror, 1981.


CANDLE: {39,1}

As Faruqi observes, a candle flares up most brightly before dying; this is true frequently in the real world, and always in the ghazal world. When it's on the verge of guttering out, the candle's flaring, radiant 'heart' has become 'melted' into a pool of liquid wax that surrounds it. So it's when your flame is almost ready to burn itself out that its true radiance appears; this is reminiscent of the folk-etymology of 'ghazal' as derived from the last wild beautiful cry of a dying gazelle.

And if we take the first line in a more literal and careful sense, we have a more piquant subtlety of meaning. What is it that's 'far-off'? It's 'beauty', and the beauty is that of 'brightness', so it can't be obtained without arranging for some source of brightness. Since the brightness is imagined as that of a 'candle', it can't be obtained without arranging for a candle. The candle is that of 'poetry'; in view of the flexibility of the i.zaafat construction, this may be a metaphoric equation (candle=poetry), but it could easily refer to a candle that 'belongs to' or 'pertains to' poetry in some other, unspecified sense. In any case, it appears that you can't have the 'candle of poetry' without either previously, or at the same time, having a candle. The sequence is thus, in separate stages of which the final one is 'far-off', from poetry to candle to brightness to beauty.

And how do you get there? First of all, you create a melted heart. The melted heart thus seems very possibly to precede the candle of poetry (for there may well be a stage in which you have the 'poetry' but your poetry hasn't yet caught fire, so you don't yet have the 'candle of poetry'). First you melt down your heart with suffering, pain, longing, and so on-- all the torments the ghazal world knows so well. Only then do you begin to traverse the stages of the path to the distant-- perhaps even unattainably distant-- vision of 'beauty'.

This closing-verse also seems to bring us full circle, for it evokes the opening-verse, {214,1}.