Ghalib and His Career

by Nachoem M. Wijnberg

Ghalib decides to pursue a career in the service of the British queen.
Not in her army, though his grandfather once silenced a line of soldiers by riding toward them on his horse.

Perhaps as an official who rides through his province with two tents.
When he sits down in front of the first tent early in the morning, the second is already on its way to where he will be that evening.

If there is at least one great poet who has written in English, Ghalib can learn that language easily.
Send him a book of his poems, translated into Persian, so he can improve the translations.

The queen needn’t worry, he has thought about how to make sure he has a long career.
Ghalib wants to find out who is the best living English poet and who is the second-best.

The second-best English poet leaves his house after dark and keeps walking.
When morning comes he says where he lives and asks which direction it is.

The best English poet receives dozens of letters every day from rose growers.
He has asked them to let him know if they see something they have never seen before.

Ghalib wants to write to him as well to answer his questions.
But what about? Would he like to know what the flowers looked like in paradise?

He becomes a gardener who wants to tend the roses until they turn red.
When it gets cold at night he brings the flowers in.

The other officials complain if they have to write a report at the end of the year,
But Ghalib writes letters to his queen all day long because he wants to tell her every one of his decisions.

Last updated November 13, 2022