Death Poetry of Mirza Ghalib: A Critical Evaluation

  • Dr Tasleem Ahmad War Sr. Assistant Professor Dept of English University of Kashmir, Srinagar


Mirza Ghalib does not need any kind of introduction as he is a world famous poet for having made a significant contribution to the Urdu and Persian literature. He says about himself as a poet:

ہیں اور بھی دنیا میں سخن ور بہت اچھے

کہتے ہیں کہ غالبؔ کا ہے انداز بیاں اور

haiñ aur bhī duniyā meñ suḳhan-var bahut achchhe

kahte haiñ ki 'ġhālib' kā hai andāz-e-bayāñ aur

At the same time Ghalib is very popular in South Asia even among unlettered people both because of the striking universal appeal of his verses and his style. One of the predominant concerns of his poetry is the way Ghalib talks about death. The theme of death is the quintessential feature of his poetry. It is such an important theme of his poetry that it almost gains the status of a character in his poetry as it occurs again and again in his poetry. Therefore the present research paper makes an attempt to highlight this particular obsessional tendency of Ghalib and relates it with these life events which kept haunting him from time to time. An attempt has also been made to look at the different connotations of death as used by Ghalib across his poetry. There are many aspects in his which have been critically examined by critics all over the world but this aspect-the most predominant feature of his poetry has not been examined at all, hence the present research paper makes an attempt to examine it critically. The paper also highlights how Ghalib foregrounds this unconventional technique of the treatment of death which creates defamiliarisation.

Keywords: Sukhan var, Aandaz e bayan, Niggardly, Foreground, Defamiliarization.


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Author Biography

Dr Tasleem Ahmad War, Sr. Assistant Professor Dept of English University of Kashmir, Srinagar

Dr Tasleem Ahmad War is a Sr. Assistant Professor with the Dept of English, University of Kashmir, Srinagar.


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2. Murthy, R. Saraswathy. Shakespeare’s Sonnet (New Delhi: Macmillan, 1988)
3. Niazi, K. Sarfaraz. Love Sonnets of Ghalib (New Delhi: Rupa &Co, 2002)
4. Wig, N. N. “A New Evaluation of Ghalib and his Poetry”. Indian Literature 11(1) (1968), 36-48.
How to Cite
Ahmad War, D. T. “Death Poetry of Mirza Ghalib: A Critical Evaluation”. Contemporary Literary Review India, Vol. 7, no. 3, Aug. 2020, pp. 132-64,
Research Papers