“Whatever the color and condition of things, open your eyes.”

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Below is Robert Hass’s version of Aijaz Ahmad’s literal translation of a Ghalib ghazal:

The happiness of a drop of water is to die into a river.
When pain is unbearable, pain becomes the medicine.

We are so weak our tears become a mild sighing.
Now we really believe that water can turn into air.

When the spring sky clears after a heavy rain,
It’s as if it had wept itself to death.

So that you may begin to understand the miracle of the wind,
Notice the mirror becoming green in the spring.

Ghalib, the rose wants to be looked at.
Whatever the color and condition of things, open your eyes.

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Source: Hass, Robert. A Little Book on Form: An Exploration into the Formal Imagination of Poetry. , 2017. eBook.

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