Poetry of Ghalib Irfan - An Assessment and Analysis

In his article Recreation, Lord Edward Grey of Fallodan has said, “Poetry is the greatest literature and pleasure in poetry is the greatest of literary pleasures.”

I fully agree with him. But in this perspective, I would like to say that poetry awakes passions and feelings, which remain asleep in people. They impress their mind and vision. Apparently, that is the segment of a circle, but when it gets an outlet, thoughts and sentiments come before the eyes and they become flowery, which takes the shapes of poetry.

Even though poetry is a reflection of life, but it covers the personality of poets, who begin to open gradually. On the other side, when we read or come across any poem, we also go through the transformation.

Poets are a part of society. They are specialists in diagnosing feelings and aspirations, but sometimes they hesitate to ascertain and analyse them. In spite of this, it can be said that they are shrewd, but far-sighted.

Poetry depicts the unevenness and experiences, which relate to heart and mind, and remain hidden. But poets, come out to measure and ascertain the unevenness of life and injustice in society. Their behaviour towards life is positive, and their approach is according to the conditions and behaviour of society. Ideas and words wait for them to use to their credit potential. Waves of love and happy moments urge them to express and illustrate their feelings, sentiments and passions. A stage comes when poets are satisfied, and there is an urge to express their feelings in the shape of a poem.

Poetry of Ghalib Irfan depicts his deep thoughts and aspirations, towards the varied segments of life and universe. If we turn pages of history, we shall find glimpses and waves of philosophical expressions in the works of many poets. Most portion of their poetry is under the influence of social philosophy. However, a poet who is more sensitive than others, expresses his feelings against injustice and misuse of power, which shows his willingness to highlight them through revolutionary touches in his poetry. When they become alive, they collide against rocks and they cause cracks in them, and their struggles cannot be over overlooked.

We can see in the poetry of Ghalib Irfan that the candle of hope remains lit up. Sometimes he seems to be tired, but his confidence and trust remains alive. He believes in an evolutionary process and economic prosperity. But this is possible only through continued struggle and a society free of corruption and misdoings. However, this viewpoint is like fire, turning sparks into flame. In his poetry, Ghalib Irfan has analysed and solved the varied problems, which he has faced in life and the indifferent attitude of society. He has given a graphic description of intuitive conditions and feelings which surround people as he is able to feel, and has described them with innovation, which is based on reality and truth. He has mingled the classical approach in such a way that his poetry shows freshness and reflection of loveliness. There is balance between consciousness and vigilance, which depicts goodness and a sober attitude towards society, in which there is frustration and an interlinking chain of bad circumstances. But he has proved his ability to come out from those circumstances and pave the way for a better surrounding where love is supreme with justice and peace in society, which depicts a fresh attitude towards poetry.

Ghalib Irfan has travelled from Hyderabad Deccan to Jamshedpur (Bihar), and then from Chittagong (former East Pakistan) to Karachi. This long and tortuous journey has given him multidimensional feelings which have blessed his poetry with philosophical thinking and logical approach towards life. His poetry is analysis of this century in which there is an approach towards higher values of life. There is no doubt that a categorical set up has humiliated humanity and tyrannous calamities have fixed their claws on life in which the scene of sunrise and sunset is afflicted and we cannot balance between joy and distress. We always think that it may happen or may not happen. It seems as if the relation of body with soul is about to end. In such an atmosphere there is an intense feeling of defeat and break down of social set-up in which different units scatter and the coverlet of time becomes black. In this situation, intellect and wisdom are locked. But even here we try to assess our stage of journey, when we are bound to accept the realities of life, which is full of important events. But we should not forget that nothing is lasting. In these zigzag situations, the poetry of Ghalib Irfan has tried to find a highway. His poetry is that fountain which determines the poetic limits from past to present for a bright future and this is based on philosophical trends, which is actually an attempt to know about self and its existence.

Ghalib Irfan is trying to study about the existence of life and self (ego) like the great Poet of the East, Dr Allama M. Iqbal. He has tried to give answers through his practical observations. Here it shall not be out of place to mention Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, one of the most prominent Urdu poets. He was born in Agra in the 18th century (1212 Hijri). Most portion of his poetry has philosophical touches, which we also find in the poetry of Dr Allama M. Iqbal. However, there is a marginal difference of century between the two great poets. In the 21st century, Ghalib Irfan has affiliated his thinking with them.

Now, something about the diction and style of Ghalib Irfan - he has used some words, with decency and fluency, which reflect his inner feelings and sober attitude towards life and its components which are conclusive. They determine and dominate his poetry. These words are: mirror, face, reflection, suspicion, consciousness, imagination, unspoken, mean, particle, circumambulation stone, quest, revolution and axis.

In conclusion, I would like to say that the poet has found those waves of consciousness, which are the staircase to uplifting his poetry. They give conclusive evidence about his practical approach and diction. They also highlight his inner feelings which reflect like a mirror, as Ghalib Irfan has seen many rise and fall in his life. He has crossed the rivers and fields which were filled with corpses and blood. It shall be right to say that in the present century, we are passing a life which has become half, and we do not know when it shall become full. Here I would like to add the following couplet of A.E. Housman, a great English poet:

He would not stay for me, and who can wonder?
He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
I shook his hand, and tore my heart in sunder,
And went with half my life about my ways.

The poetry of Ghalib Irfan is itself his introduction which shows the brilliance of his consciousness and is an analysis of his life. I am confident that he will continue his poetic journey with zeal and determination, and wish him all the success. •