Ghalib essay prompt
ENG 2850: Great Works of Literature II
Please address the following three things in a 4-page essay. You’re welcome to emphasize some more than others according to your own interests. Everything should be incorporated into a single essay, in paragraph form, and organized coherently as you see fit.
Respond to one of the Ghalib poems in the packet on your own terms, and reference at least one particular passage that you find curious, strange, or funny—perhaps in relation to another. Some basic questions that all of Ghalib’s poems compel us to ask that you might consider for your specific poem: What does Ghalib suggest about the relationship between God and man? About his particular relationship? How does Ghalib represent his individual relationship to society? What can we say about the nature of truth and meaning as espoused in this poem, either in terms of what he says or in term’s of the formal qualities of this poem? What kind of character is this speaker, and what tone or tones come across in this poem? Of course, any considerations beyond those basic ones are welcome! You are also welcome to reference the specific content of other poems on a precise and LIMITED basis.
· Pick one of these quotations from the translator, Robert Bly, to speak to in relation to your chosen poem:
“Our perception of ‘things’ as real doesn’t quite fit with the idea that they don’t actually exist. One Muslim belief sees the universe we know as a mixture of the Existent and the Non-Existent. Things such as trees, streets, people, and clouds all belong to Non-Existence: they are only shadows thrown by a genuinely existent sun.”
“In a ghazal, it is as if the writer has thrown a group of handsome bones onto the field, and the reader has to put them together to make a dog, or if he or she prefers, a larger companion, perhaps a horse.”
“Perhaps the turn to failure is natural six centuries after Rumi and four centuries after Kabir. Perhaps spiritual achievement involves moredifficulty now than it did in the thirteenth century or perhaps this change in tone has nothing to do with history at all.”
· Watch the following two Youtube clips, from the 1988 Indian-produced film Mirza Ghalib,about the life of Ghalib:
Beyond the written poem as presented on a page, the art of singing/performing ghazalis an important part of Indian cultural practice.What are your impressions on hearing these poems sung, as opposed to read? Does it feel different than reading our PDF? Do they possess different qualities of tone and feeling, and therefore meaning?Order Now