S. Alam Khundmiri
GHALIB, OUR CONTEMPORARY*
Translated by Muhammad Umar Memon
We can consider our subject from two perspectives: first, to what extent are the surface beauty of Ghalib's verse and his verbal imagery harmonious with the contemporary modes of language and expression; second, to what extent do the intellectual and emotive elements in his poetry represent a sensibility that
On the basis of this hypothesis, I think one must look for Ghalib's modernity, or his contemporaneity with us, in the internal structure of his poetry. In this internal structure, the artistic moulds of poetry as well as the thought underlying them become inextricably intervowen into a unity. All analyses of poetry, therefore—whether from the point of view of craft or from the perspective of thought—are either mere methodological devices or else an expression of the subjective predilections of the critic.
Before attempting to speculate about the intellectual basis of Ghalib's poetry, we will do well to reflect on a more funda-
* "^2i£>," in §abx'un, vol. 5, no. 52 (Sep. 1970), pp. 5-12. 85