17+ Best Mirza Ghalib Poems Everyone Absolutely Must Read

Ghalib, born Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, was a prominent Urdu and Persian poet during the last years of the Mughal Empire. He used his pen-names of Ghalib and Asad. His honorific was Dabir-ul-Mulk, Najm-ud-Daula.

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Famous Mirza Ghalib Poems

A Thousand Desires

Thousands of desires, each worth dying for…
Many of them I have realized…yet I yearn for more…

Why should my killer (lover) be afraid? No one will hold her responsible
For the blood which will continuously flow through my eyes all my life

We have heard about the dismissal of Adam from Heaven,
With a more humiliation, I am leaving the street on which you live…

Oh tyrant, your true personality will be known to all
If the curls of my hair slip through my turban!

But if someone wants to write her a letter, they can ask me,
Every morning I leave my house with my pen on my ear.

In that age, I turned to drinking (alcohol)
And then the time came when my entire world was occupied by alcohol

From whom I expected justice/praise for my weakness
Turned out to be more injured with the same cruel sword

When in love, there is little difference between life and death
We live by looking at the infidel who we are willing to die for

Put some pressure on your heart to remove that cruel arrow,
For if the arrow comes out, so will your heart…and your life.

For god’s sake, don’t lift the cover off any secrets you tyrant
The infidel might turn out to be my lover!

The preacher and the bar’s entrance are way apart
Yet I saw him entering the bar as I was leaving!

Thousands of desires, each worth dying for…

Many of them I have realized…yet I yearn for more

What Cannot Be Said

There’s one who took my heart away.
But does she own it? I can’t say.

See her as unjust though I may,
Is she a tyrant? I can’t say.

She strides a bloodless battlefield
Where there’s no battle-axe to wield.

She keeps a wineless banquet-hall
Where there’s no bowl to raise at all.

Although she serves wine ceaselessly,
Her fingers bring no cup to me.

Her idol-carving hand is sure,
But you cannot call her Azer

When riots quiet down, why must
You brag of ousting the unjust?

There will be nothing you can say
Of the unjust on Judgment Day.

Within the breast the secret lies
Which none can ever sermonize.

How strange a thing it is that throws
The mind askew till no one knows

How I Ghalib am no believer
But can’t be called unfaithful either.

Note:
Azer: in the Islamic tradition, Abraham’s father who manufactured and served Nimrod’s idols. Known as Terah in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

[Trasnlated from Persian ]

No Hope Comes My Way

No hope comes my way
No visage shows itself to me

That death will come one day is definite
Then why does sleep evade me all night?

I used to laugh at the state of my heart
Now no one thing brings a smile

Though I know the reward of religious devotion
My attention does not settle in that direction

It is for these reasons that I am quiet
If not, would I not converse with you?

Why should I not remember you?
Even if you cannot hear my lament

You don’t see the anguish in my heart
O healer, the scent of my pain eludes you

I am now at that point
That even I don’t know myself

I die in the hope of dying
Death arrives and then never arrives

How will you face Mecca, Ghalib
When shame doesn’t come to you

Let the ascetics sing of the garden of Paradise —

Let the ascetics sing of the garden of Paradise —
We who dwell in the true ecstasy can forget their vase-tamed bouquet.

In our hall of mirrors, the map of the one Face appears
As the sun’s splendor would spangle a world made of dew.

Hidden in this image is also its end,
As peasants’ lives harbor revolt and unthreshed corn sparks with fire.

Hidden in my silence are a thousand abandoned longings:
My words the darkened oil lamp on a stranger’s unspeaking grave.

Ghalib, the road of change is before you always:
The only line stitching this world’s scattered parts.

Kiss Me

Ghooncha-e-nashiguftha ko dhoor se math dikha key yoon
Bosey ko poonchtha houn mein munh se muchey batha ki yoon

Translation:

Don’t stay afar pouting your lips at me like a rosebud;
I asked you for a kiss–let your lips answer my plea.

It is not Love it is Madness

(You say) It is not love, it is madness
My madness may be the cause of your fame
Sever not my relationship with you
If nothing then be my enemy
What is the meaning of notoriety in meeting me
If not in public court meet me alone
I am not my own enemy
So what if the stranger is in love with you
Whatever you are, it is due to your own being
If this not known then it is ignorance
Life though fleets like a lightening flash
Yet it is abundant Time to be in love
I do not want debate on the sustenance of love
Be it not love but another dilemma
Give something O biased One
At least the sanction to cry and plea
I will perpetuate the rituals
Even if cruelty be your habit
Teasing and cajoling the beloved cannot leave ‘Asad’
Even if there is no union and only the desire remains

Innocent heart

Innocent heart, what has happened to you?
Alas, what is the cure to this pain?

We are interested, and they are displeased,
Oh Lord, what is this affair?

I too possess a tongue-
just ask me what I want to say.

Though there is none present without you,
then oh God, what is this noise about?

I expected faith from those
who do not even know what faith is.

In Her Every Indication

Although in her every indication, the aim is something else
If she shows her affection(with me) , then different suspicion arises

Oh Lord, ‘they’ have not understood, nor will [they] understand, my speech
Give ‘them’ another heart, if you don’t give me a different tongue

Does that glance of coquetry have a connection with the eyebrow?
It is certainly an arrow- perhaps it has a different bow

If you’re in the city, then what grief do I have? when we get up
I will go and bring back from the bazaar a different heart and life

Although [I /we] became quick-handed / deft in idol-breaking
If I am alive, then in my path there will be many heavy-stones

The blood of the liver is in turmoil—or I would have wept to my heart’s content
If I had had a number of different pure-blood-scattering eyes

I will die [of love] for that voice, although my head may fly off!
But let her keep saying to the executioner,’Yes, more/another! ‘

People are deceived about the world-{heating/burning} sun
Every day I show one different hidden scar/wound

There are many good poets in this world.
But it is said that Ghalib is in a league of his own.

I Will Not Cry

I will not cry for satisfaction if I could get my choice,
Among the divine beautiful virgins of heaven, I want only you.

After killing me, do not bury me in your street,
Why should people know your home address with my reference.

Be chivalrous for you are the wine bearer (beloved) , or else I
use to drink as much wine as I get every night.

I have no business with you but O! dear friend,
Convey my regards to the postman if you see him,(to remind him that he has to deliver my message to my beloved) .

I will show you what Majnoo (Hero of the famous Arabic love tale, Layla Majnoo) did,
If I could spare some time of my inner grief.

I am not bound to follow the directions given by Khizar (A prophet who is believed to be still alive and guide the people, who have lost their way, to the right path) ,
I accept that he remained my companion during my journey.

O! The inhabitants of the street of my beloved see
if you could find the insane poet Ghalib there some where.

I have seen almost all the possible Troubles in my life

I have seen almost all the possible Troubles in my life,
The last one that I have to face is the Death.

Heart it is, Not a Brick or Stone

Heart it is, not a brick or stone
Why shouldn’t it feel the pain?
Let none tyrannize this heart
Or I shall cry again and again
Neither the temple, nor the mosque
Nor on someone’s door or porch
I await on the path where He will tread
Why others should compel me to go?
The illumined grace that lights up the heart
And glows like the midday sun
That Self that annihilates all sights
When then it hides in the mysterious net?
The amorous glance is the deadly dagger
And the arrows of emotions are fatal
Your image may be equally powerful
Why should it appear before you?
The rules of life and bonds of sorrow
In reality are the one manifestation
Before realizing the ultimate truth
How can then one attain liberation?
Love is laden with noble thoughts
Yet what remains is the carnal shame
Trust conscience the still little voice
Why do you want test the rival?
There the pride of modesty resides
Here dwells the social morality
How shall we meet, on which road
Why should he invite me to the abode?
True he is an atheist
Unfaithful and unchaste
Dear to who is faith and heart
Why should he then venture there?
Without the wretched ‘Ghalib’
Has any activity come to a halt?
What then is the need to cry?
What then is the need to brood?

He was, when it was aught

He was, when it was aught
He would still be, even if it might have been naught
Drowned I am in my ego
What would have happened if ‘I’ was not
Laden with distraught and feeling apathetic
do I have to worry about the head being severed
If it did not severe from the body
The head would have simply reposed on the lap
It has been ages that ‘Ghalib’ died
Yet the memories linger on
His saying this on every occasion
If it was ‘like this’ then what it would be!

Gilah Hai Shauq Ko

gilah hai shauq ko dil meñ bhī tangī-e jā kā
guhar meñ maḥv hua iẓtiraab daryā kā

yih jāntā hūñ kih tū aur pāsuḳh-e maktūb
magar sitam-zadah hūñ żauq-e ḳhāmah-farsā kā

ḥinā-e pā-e ḳhizāñ hai bahār agar hai yihī
davām kulfat-e ḳhāt̤ir hai ʿaish dunyā kā

ġham-e firāq meñ taklīf-e sair-e gul nah do
mujhe dimāġh nahīñ ḳhandah’hā-e be-jā kā

hanūz maḥramī-e ḥusn ko tarastā hūñ
kare hai har bun-e mū kām chashm-e bīnā kā

dil us ko pahle hī nāz-o-adā se de baiṭhe
hameñ dimāġh kahāñ ḥusn ke taqāẓā kā

nah kah kih giryah bah miqdār-e ḥasrat-e dil hai
mirī nigāh meñ hai jamʿa-o-ḳharch daryā kā

falak ko dekh ke kartā hūñ us ko yād asad
jafā meñ us kī hai andāz kār-farmā kā

Ghazal

I wish to go and dwell,
In such a place,
Where there’s no one else.
No one to understand my speech,
No one around to talk with,
There, I want to reach.

I wish to build,
One such house,
Without a door to enter,
Without the boundary walls,
Thus there will be no neighbours,
And there will be no guard.

There will be no one thus,
To take care of me,
When I will fell ill.
And there will be no one,
To mourn or cry,
When I will die.

Come that my soul has no repose

Come that my soul has no repose
Has no strength to bear the injustice of waiting

Heaven is given in return for the life of this world
But that high is not in proportion to this intoxication

Such longing has come from your company
That there is no control over my tears

Suspecting torment, you are indifferent to me
So no love resides in these clouds of dust

From my heart has lifted the meaning of pleasure
Without blossoms, there is no spring in life

You have pledged to kill me at last
But there is no determination in your promise

You have sworn by the wine, Ghalib
There is no faith in your avowal

About My Poems

I agree, O heart, that my ghazals are not easy to take in.
When they hear my works, experienced poets

tell me I should write something easier.
I have to write difficult, otherwise it is difficult to write.

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