Ghazal 351x, Verse 3


;xvaahish-e dil hai zabaa;N ko sabab-e guft-o-bayaa;N
hai su;xan gard-e z-daamaan-e .zamiir afshaa;Ndah

1) the desire of the heart is, to the tongue, a cause of speech and exposition
2) poetry/'speech' is dust shed from the garment-hem of reflection/mind


guft : 'Word, saying, speech, discourse'. (Platts p.910)


bayaan : 'Declaration, assertion, affirmation; explanation, exposition, description, relation, disclosure, unfolding, circumstantial indication or evidence; perspicuity, clearness'. (Platts p.205)


su;xan : 'Speech, language, discourse, word, words; — thing, business, affair'. (Platts p.645)


.zamiir : 'Heart, mind; the recesses of the mind, the secret thoughts; thought, reflection, sense, conscience, conception, idea, comprehension'. (Platts p.750)


afshaa;Ndah : 'Dispersed, scattered, shed'. (Steingass p.83)


The conversation of the tongue, and expression, are [habitually] because of the desire of the heart. That is, when some idea is born in the heart, then the tongue expresses it. From this it is learned that speech-- that is, poetic speech-- is a dust that is rained down from the garment-hem of the heart. That is, 'verse' is the name only of the expression of emotions of the heart.

== Asi, p. 207


He explains poetry-- that, what is poetry? It is dust shaken off from the garment-hem of reflection/mind. Because 'the desire of the heart is to the tongue a cause of conversation'.

== Zamin, p. 311

Gyan Chand:

When some desire comes into the heart, then a person speaks. So to speak, speech/poetry is the swept-away dust from the garment-hem of the heart. Within the heart, silently, desire creates a restlessness. If this desire would be expressed in words, then the heart becomes light, and nice and clean. For the heart, desires are displeasing, like dust. To remove them from there will be necessary for the heart's cleanness. If 'speech' is taken to mean 'poetry', then then it will be more appropriate.

== Gyan Chand, pp. 320-321


SPEAKING: {14,4}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}. See also the overview index.

Was there ever a clearer example of an 'A,B' verse? The two lines make, very firmly, two quite different statements that pertain to two somewhat different, somewhat similar, topics. The first line states flatly that the 'desire of the heart' is what moves the tongue to 'speech' and 'exposition'. Speech is thus instrumental: it's a means for achieving the desires of the heart.

Then the second line starts afresh, by concerning itself with su;xan , which officially means 'speech', but in the ghazal world more powerfully suggests (orally presented) poetry. Poetry/speech, the line tells us, is the dust scattered or shed by the garment-hem of .zamiir , or inward awareness (see the definition above). A garment-hem is long and sweeping; it may brush past leaves, flowers, seeds, burrs, dirt, dew as the wearer moves around. Then as it moves onward (or when the wearer gives it a shake) this accumulated 'dust' is shed from it again. This scattered 'dust' is poetry/speech.

It's easy to see how the two lines can be contrasted. 'Speech' or 'exposition' begins from activity of the heart, and is directly purposeful and instrumental; 'poetry/speech' begins from activity of the mind, and is so peripheral that it is casually or heedlessly dispersed like 'dust'. But it's also easy to see similarities: both are forms of 'speech', both find their sources in the inward depths, both then move outward into the world through processes that even have certain resemblances (words are scattered from the tongue as dust is scattered from the garment-hem) and uncertain value.

So-- where does that leave us? As so often, with material enough for several different verses, and with the task of cutting out and stitching together whatever meaning(s) we ourselves choose.