Mirza Ghalib

(27 December 1797 – 15 February 1869 / Agra / British India)

What Cannot Be Said - Poem by Mirza Ghalib

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.

<b>Note: </b>
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 ]

Comments about What Cannot Be Said by Mirza Ghalib

  • Sarah PerssonSarah Persson (2/17/2020 9:54:00 AM)

    This is a beautiful poem, congratulations on Poem of the Day :) (Report)Reply

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  • Parameswaran Nair Damodaran Nair (2/17/2020 9:00:00 AM)

    I must say, " it is simply beautiful" (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Sally P. P. (2/17/2020 3:09:00 AM)

    Food for thought. Enjoyed the flow of words. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (2/17/2020 1:37:00 AM)

    Wonderful verse with amazing ideas to muse over! (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (2/17/2020 1:11:00 AM)

    ultimate truth
    lives in
    known and unknown
    seen and unseen
    in intuition and realistic life

    for the untouched truth
    none can name me
    I'm defamer of God
    or I'm loyal to God

    on this earth
    pieces into truth! ! ! ! !

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (2/17/2020 12:48:00 AM)

    She took my heart away! ! !
    But, she doesn't own it.


    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (2/17/2020 12:48:00 AM)

    Each couplet is perfectly translated with sweet rhyme and poetic beauty.

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Subhas Chandra ChakraSubhas Chandra Chakra (11/21/2017 11:09:00 AM)

    An amazing poem shared.
    Thanks Mirza Saab.

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (3/19/2016 3:05:00 PM)

    Superb poem, The depth in this poem is amazing. Thanks for sharing. (Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 9 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 16, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, March 16, 2012

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