What is a quick summary of Ghalib's poetry?

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astrocourt eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ghalib wrote about the emotive aspects of life -- romance, love and sadness. However, the tone of his poems is not necessarily reflective; rather than philosophical, his poems are "in the moment." Some are distinctly non-sentimental and action-focused.

His writings seem ahead of their time, modern in feeling (even being described as futuristic). The tone of his later poems is changed, reflecting the social, political and personal upheaval in his life.

Ghalib's poetry reflects the movement of thought. It is the product of a civilization standing on the brink of change and conscious of it. -Ahmed Ali

Ghalib is most well known for his Urdu Ghazals (however he was more proud of his Persian works). Ghazals are an ancient Arabic form of poetry, featuring couplets and a refrain -- each line with the same meter. Following ghazal convention, the gender identity of the lover is left unspecified throughout Ghalib's work.

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