== SETS ==

The best initial context for understanding any of Ghalib’s verses is usually the set of his own similar verses. The GRAMMAR PAGE includes many unusual, idiomatic, conventionalized, and archaic forms; and of course there are the indices of NAMES and TERMS as well. The sets below are informal ones that I have put together partly logically and partly idiosyncratically, for the kinds of future study that I might like to do myself. There’s also a SETS PAGE FOR MIR that provides comparative material. And finally, there’s the SITEMAP—from which everything is accessible at once.

The first group on the present page consists mostly of sets based on Urdu grammar and structural words and literary devices. I consider these to be fundamental and obvious choices. But it also includes a few tentative categories of my own, like ‘humor’, ‘mushairah’, and ‘grotesquerie’, that I want to think about further as I work on the divan. More instances and examples of such sets will be found in the Index of Terms, especially under ;husn-e ta((liil , iihaam , inshaa))iyah , kinaayah .

The second group consists of a few illustrative examples drawn from the hundreds of imagery sets (the liver, the mirror, etc.) and thematic notions (the beloved's having no mouth, etc.). I chose them partly for importance, partly for distinctiveness, partly for level of occurrence (neither inconveniently frequent nor extremely rare), sometimes just because they intrigued me. In order to keep this page from getting too long, the lists of examples are given in the verses to which links are provided.

The third group consists of a small number of ‘translatables’, verses that seem to lend themselves especially well to translation into English.

If you want to use the SEARCH box in the top left corner of this page, remember to spell Urdu words the way I do (you can check them with the ‘Plain Roman’ option on the script bar); for a complete set, keep in mind that there may be plural and oblique forms too, and/or variant spellings for the sake of meter (as in these cases).

A,B == Sequences of nouns or phrases, or most often the two separate lines, with various ways to connect them, such that the reader must work to figure out the possible relationships and must make personal choices among various possible readings, without guidance from the verse itself.
==Main list of examples: {2,1}
==On 'list' verses: {4,4}

AUR == Verses that exploit the possibilities of aur, including both 'more' and 'other' as well as 'and'.
==Main list of examples: {62,1}

BAH == Verses that exploit the meanings of the Persian bah as 'with', 'along with', 'toward', 'in', etc. and/or its special sense as 'by' (in an oath).
==Main list of examples: {75,5}

== Verses that play with the meanings of baskih as 'although', and 'to such an extent' (and sometimes 'since' as well).
==Main list of examples: {1,5}
==Compare {59,7}, har-chand

BHI == Verses that exploit the complexities of bhii — both 'even' and 'also', etc., or simply colloquially exclamatory.
==Main list of examples: {36,9}

CATCH-22 == You're damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. (You can only escape from having to fly bombing missions if you’re insane; but if you want to escape from flying bombing missions, you're sane.)
==Main list of examples: {15,2}

DEFINITION == Verses that challenge, question, or discuss the meaning of words.
==Main list of examples: {6,9x}

DIALOGUE == Verses in which someone else's (real or imagined) speech is quoted, other than the lover's.
==Main list of examples: {4,1}

DISRUPTION == Verses that play the trick of setting up a sustained metaphor, and then disrupting its development.
==Main list of examples: {21,10}

DOUBLE ACTIVATION == Verses that compel us to read the same word in two (or more) different ways.
==Main list of examples: {120,3}

EK == Verses that play with the multivalence of ek (or ik )— 'a, an', 'single', 'mere', 'singular', 'particular', 'unique', 'excellent'.
==Main list of examples: {6,6}
==On ek versus yak , see {78,6}; on expressions compounded with yak , see {11,1}.

EXCLAMATION == Verses that rely on the sheer expression of strong emotion, through exclamations that could cover a range of tones and shades; these are, of course, mostly left for the reader to supply.
==Main list of examples: {17,8}

FILL-IN == Verses so general and unspecified that each reader is invited/compelled to invent his/her own content.
==Main list of examples: {22,6}

'FRESH WORD' == Verses that take advantage of the striking effect of an unusual word.
==Main list of examples: Terms index: laf:z-e taazah

GENERATORS == Verses framed as radically indeterminate, closure-refusing 'meaning generators'.
==Main list of examples: {1,4}

GESTURES == Verses that report the making of gestures that remain ultimately uninterpretable.
==Main list of examples: {50,2}

GROTESQUERIE == Verses that fall into a category of my own that I am working through and discussing in the verses that I think display it. It seems to be based on excessive physical literalness of an off-putting kind.
==Main list of examples: {6,4}

HANUZ == Verses in which the double meaning of hanuuz as both ‘still’ and ‘now’ is exploited.
==Main list of examples: {3,4}

HERE/THERE == Verses that juxtapose things 'here' [yaa;N] with things 'there' [vaa;N]; usually 'here' is where the lover is, and 'there' is where the beloved is.
==Main list of examples: {15,2}

HI == Verses that make significant use of the various possibilities of hii (restrictive, intensive, etc.).
==Main list of examples: {13,1}

HUMOR == Verses that are witty, light, and actually rather funny.
==Main list of examples: {14,7}

I AND == Ambiguously emotive verses that make use of 'I, and' [mai;N aur] or ‘I am, and...’ [mai;N huu;N aur] constructions.
==Main list of examples: {5,6}

IDIOMS == Verses that rely on idiomatic expressions or proverbial sayings, almost always in ways that turn out to invoke their literal meanings as well. Sometimes the idioms are not actually present in the verse, but are cleverly evoked.
==Main list of examples: {11,2}
==See also below: 'PETRIFIED PHRASES'.

INEXPRESSIBILITY == Verses that affirm the impossibility of describing something.
==Main list of examples: {15,11}

IZAFAT == Verses that take exceptional advantage of the i.zaafat construction.
==Main list of examples: {16,1}

JO == Verses that make use of its range of possible meanings-- expecially 'since', 'if', 'when'.
==Main list of examples: {12,2}

KA/KE/KI == Verses that use the possessive kaa / ke / kii as flexibly as the i.zaafat construction.
==Main list of examples: {10,6}

KAHAN == Verses that use kahaa;N as both an interrogative marker and a scornful rhetorical question. (This is similar to a part of the 'kya effect'.)
==Main list of examples: {4,1}

KIH == Verses that take special advantage of the remarkable complexities of kih — as a quote marker, or 'since', or 'in that', or 'which', or 'so that' or 'such that', or 'while', or 'and', or 'or'.
==Main list of examples: {13,6}
==On jab kih see {53,8}; on jo kih see {39,4}; on jo see {12,2}; on taa-kih see {122,2}.

KYA == Verses that exploit the sensational multivalence of kyaa .
==Main list of examples: {15,10} (with extensive discussion)

LIST == Verses that exploit the possibilities of verb-free lists, almost always of nouns, that the reader must figure out how to interpret. (These are a subset of the group of 'A,B' verses.)
==Main list of examples: {4,4}

MAGAR == Verses that exploit the double meaning of magar as both 'but' and 'perhaps'.
==Main list of examples: {27,2}

MIDPOINTS == Verses in which small phrases or other (often adverbial) elements are grammatically positioned so that they can be read with either of two clauses.
==Main list of examples: {5,5}

MULTIVALENT WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS == Here are a few of his favorites, with further explications and examples, in English alphabetical order: aab : {193,2} / baare : {31,3} / baat : {59,2} / balaa expressions: {58,1} / be-takalluf : {25,1} / bhalaa : {21,11} / dam : {1,3} / dimaa;G : {11,2} / fareb : {71,3} / ;Gaafil : {5,3} / goyaa : {5,1} / ;haa.sil : {12,1} / ;hairat : {51,9x} / har-chand : {59,7} / havaa : {8,3} / jaan'naa : {16,5} / jalnaa : {60,1} / juz : {101,1} / ;harf : {143,1} / kaafir : {21,12} / kaam : {22,6} / kyuu;N-kar : {125,1} / la;z;zat : {6,4}; nafas (a special note): {15,6} / nang : {3,5} / nikalnaa : {219,1} / qasam : {89,3} / rashk : {53,4} / rusvaa : {20,9} / sahii expressions: {9,4} / samajhnaa : {90,3} / saudaa : {58,5} / taab : {60,1} / yak expressions: {11,1} / yuu;N : {30,1}

MUSHAIRAH verses == Verses that deliberatly withhold, then explosively provide, interpretability and closure; they are thus particularly well suited to presentation at a mushairah.
==Main list of examples: {4,2}
==For other such temporally based '1,2' verses, see iham [iihaam].

OPPOSITES == Verses that juxtapose pairs of opposite terms.
==Main list of examples: {17,1}

PARALLELISM == Some examples of similarity of structure between two parts (usually, but not always, the two lines) of the verse, such that the reader must decide whether comparison or contrast is intended, and along what lines.
==Main list of examples: {4,5}
==See also parallelism [tar.sii((].

PETRIFIED PHRASES == Verses that both invoke cliches, and revitalize them.
==Main list of examples: {15,16x}
==See also IDIOMS above.

PHIR == Verses that take advantage of its power to mean either 'again' or then'.
==Main list of examples: {14,2}

POETRY == Verses that refer to poetry and its composition and qualities.
{1,4}; {8,5x}** (Bedil); {12,7x}* (Bedil); {14,1}; {18,5}; {24,6}; {24,8}; {26,10}; {29}; {29,10x} (Bedil); {33,4}; {36,11}* (Mir); {40,5x}; {41,9x}; {43,1}; {44,1}*; {43,5}; {50,3}; {50,6x}; {53,11}*; {54,6x}, frustration; {59,6}**; {59,7}**; {60,7}, discriminatingness; {62,10}; {62,11}; {86,9}; {88,5x}, ma.zmuun ; {88,7x}*; {91,11}; {92,7} (Mir); {92,8x} (Mir); {99,9}, frustration; {103,4x}*; {100,9} (Zuhuri); {108}; {111,9}; {112,3}; {114,7}; {116,10}; [{119,7}]; {120,1}; {120,11}; {121,8}; {123,5}; {128,4x} (Bedil); {129,3x}; {133,1}; {141,1}, incomprehensible; {147,7x}; {149,5}*; {150,2x}*; {150,3x}; {154,6x}*, 'fresh thought'; {156,2x}; {156,3x}; {169,13}*, angel voice; {173,11}; {175,6}*; {177,8}, music; {177,12}, rule-breaking?; {182,3x} (Ghazali); {184,5x} (Bedil); {201,8}; {202,8}; {203,2}; {204,1}; {209,6}; {209,7}; {211,8x}, music; {214,10}; {214,12}; {214,13x}; {216,3}; {217,10x}; {232,9}; {234,8}; {234,13}; {234,14} // {235x,5}; {245x,7}*; {274x,2}; {280x,7} (Bedil, line quoted); {284x,7}; {298x,3}; {302x,6}; {308x,6}; {321x,4}, negative; {322x,5}** the 'uncreated garden' one; {322x,6}, the 'cut throat' one; {323x,6}, sold cheap; {323x,7}, unheard; {328x,6}; {332x,1}, concealment; {332x,6}*, technical terms; {341x,10}, hewing with axe; {347x,3}, fear of combing; {350x,7}, fruitless; {351x,3}; {352x,6}; {354x,6}; {356x,14}; {361x,3}; {361x,4}, value of pain; {361x,9}, paper robe; {366x,7}; {371x,3}*, technical terms; {379x,1}, pesh-e paa-uftaadah ma.zmuun , terms; {384x,5}, extreme boast; {385x,7}; {389x,5}; {389x,6}**, famous conflation one; {411x,3}, boast; {423x,5} (Bedil?); {424x,1}, plea to the Lord; {424x,5}; {430x,7}

REPETITION == Verses that display conspicuous repetition of one or more important words within the verse.
==Main list of examples: {4,6}

SE == Verses that play on its possibilities as 'from, with, by means of'. Examples: {319x,7}* // {424x,2}

STRESS-SHIFTING == Verses in which different words can be emphasized in ways that change the reading.
==Main list of examples: {10,8}

SUBJECT? == Verses in which there can be two (or more) possible subjects for a verb (or for other references to an agent).
==Main list of examples: {21,3}

SYMMETRY == Verses with lines in which both 'A is B' and 'B is A' are equally possible readings.
==Main list of examples: {4,13x}

VARNAH == Verses that exploit the double meaning of varnah (or sometimes vagarnah ) as either indicative or contrafactual.
==Main list of examples: {3,14x}

WORD == Verses that do what I am calling ‘word-exploration’, or investigation of the possibilities of some single word (or sometimes concept).
{9,8x} on ;xa:t:t ; {15,9} on be-taab ; {17,9} on qismat ; {18,7x} on be-navaa))ii ; {26,7} on ;haq ; {42,3} on naazish ; {50,3} on ;harf ; {75,2} on zabaan ; {91,5} on harchand ; {95,4} on bhed ; {98,6} on shaahid ; {100,2} on muqaddar ; {100,3} on man:zuur ; {100,4} on :zarf ; {109,4x} on kushaadah ; {110,2} on gardish ; {114,7} on ((ar.z ; {118,2} on laag ; {118,4} on lahnaa ; {123,11} on kashash ; {131,7} on rang ; {136,1} on taqriib ; {140,6} on udaas ; {141,2} on laal ; {141,4} on munfa((il ; {145,8x} on ta.sarruf ; {147,2} on saaz ; {149,7x} on niyaaz ; {153,8} on khulnaa ; {154,6x} on ; {159,4) on kalaam ; {172,3} on chhe;Rnaa ; {180,2} on hathka;N;Daa ; {192,3} on giraa;N-jaanii ; {193,2} on aab ; {196,2} on tu;Nbaa ; {196,5} on se guzarnaa ; {198,2} on pardah ; {204,8} on taab ; {209,1} on kahnaa ; {218,3} on havaa ; {219,1} on nikalnaa ; {228,1} on dimaa;G // {413x,3} on ;xudaa

WORDPLAY == Some examples of the remarkable number of verses organized around wordplay.
==Main list of examples: {4,12x}

ARCHERY: {6,2}
BEKHUDI: {21,6}
BONDAGE: {1,5}
CANDLE: {39,1}
COMMERCE (and legal/bureaucratic): {3,3}
CURLS: {14,6}
DESERT: {3,1}
DOOMSDAY: {10,11}
DREAMS: {3,3}
DROP/OCEAN: {21,8}
EYES {3,1}
FOOD: {6,4}
GAZE: {10,12}
GOOD/BAD: {22,4}
HENNA: {18,4}
HOME: {14,9}
IDOL: {8,1}
ISLAMIC: {10,2}
JALVAH: {7,4}
JAUHAR: {5,4}
JIGAR: {2,1}
[LOVER IS A BIRD: {126,5}]
MADNESS: {14,3}
MIRROR: {8,3}
MUSIC (and other arts): {10,3}
NIGHT/DAY: {1,2}
ROAD: {10,12}
SKY {15,7}
SPEAKING: {14,4}
STONE: {62,5}
SUN: {10,5}
SWORD: {1,3}
TAMASHA: {8,1}
TESTING: {4,4}
‘UNION’: {5,2}
VEIL: {6,1}
VOWS: {20,2}
WARNINGS: {15,15}
WINE: {49,1}
WINE-HOUSE: {33,6}
WRITING: {7,3}
ZARRAH: {15,12}

TRANSLATABLES == A few examples of verses that seem to lend themselves especially well to translation.
{4,2}; {4,6}; {58}; {62,2}; {80,9}; {91,3}; {92,2}; {95,6}; {97,2}; {97,4}; {97,11}; {97,12}; {97,13}; {98,4}; {101,4}; {104,1}; {105,2}; {107,3}; {107,4}; {110,6}; {110,7}; {110,8}; {113,7}; {115,5}; {136,3}; {174}; {177,5}; {179,2}; {234,6}

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