Diwan-e-Ghani Kashmiri

About this text

Introductory notes

Muhammad Tahir Ghani (d. 1668–9) was probably born in Srinagar, Kashmir, where he spent most of his life, apart from a journey to northern India, which his poetry mentions. Ghani remained aloof from the court, but actively involved in the literary life of seventeenth-century Kashmir. He worked with the poet Fānī Kashmiri (d. 1670–1) and composed a poem on the death of Kalīm Kāshānī (d.1651) the poet laureate of Shāh Jahān (r. 1628–58). The earliest biographical source, Tazkira-yi Nasrābādī (1679), reports that Ghani died young. The surviving compilation of his poetry was edited by his student, Muslim, with an introduction. This dīvān includes c.2000 verses, a small portion of Ghani’s corpus. His poetry reflects the literary values of the shīva-yi tāza (“fresh style”, later called sabk-i hindī, “Indian style”). Ghani may have been associated with Ṣāʾib Tabrīzī (d.1676), the master of this style, which demonstrated, as the selections show, an increasing literalism of metaphors of eating, cooking, and disease.


Be neyāz az khalq boodan behtar az sultāni ast
nizd-e-‘āqil inqadar az ne‘amat-e-dunya khushast


I do not eat others’ food like the floor mill,
Even though all my limbs have become (lean) with hunger like the teeth.


Tā rizq-e- khud rasad ba dehānat chu āsia
dāyem khamosh dār zabān-e- sawāl rā


So that thy livelihood may reach thy mouth itself,
Always keep the tongue of begging quiet.


Bar bistar-e- zo‘af roz-o- shab bimāram
kaz garmi-e- tab gudākht jism-e- zāram


Every day and night, I lie ill on the bed of weakness;
And my wretched body has melted with the heat of its fever.


Jān ba lab az zo‘af natawānad raseed
man ba zor-e- nātawāni zindah am.


Due to weakness, my soul cannot reach up to my lips,
I am alive because of the strength of my weakness


Rozi-e- mā mi shawad ākhir naseeb-e- digarān
tal‘e bargashtah himchun āsia dārim mā


Our livelihood is given to someone else;
We have an inverted fate like that of the floor mill.

This text is an English-language translation of the original version:

This is a selection from the original text


begging, body, food

Source text

Title: Diwan-e-Ghani Kashmiri

Author: Muhammad Tahir Ghani

Publication date: 2016

Original compiled c.1600-1669

Place of publication: Tehran

Provenance/location: Original compiled c.1600-1669

Digital edition

Original author(s): Muhammad Tahir Ghani

Original editor(s): Md. Ehteshamuddin Institute of Persian Research, Aligarh Muslim University , Azarmi Dukht Safavi Institute of Persian Research, Aligarh Muslim University

Language: English


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.