Divan of Ghalib

by Nachoem Wijnberg


Poetry from White Pine Press
Translated from Dutch

Wijnberg creates an astounding edifice filled with mirror-rooms and concealed doors; the entrance may not be easy to find but inside there are treasures of the utmost importance. The further you go, the more you find. The result is one of astonishing richness as he takes on the original Divan of Ghalib and renders it his own much as Robert Bly absorbed the lessons of Ghalib and created his own Ghazals.

SKU: 183 Category:


White Pine Press | Poetry | Paperback
ISBN 978-1-935210-85-6

The Divan of Ghalib by Nachoem Wijnberg is not an imitation of Ghalib, but written in a form that adopts some core characteristics of the ghazal. Like Ghalib, he is not afraid of simple words and often-used symbols but uses them afresh.

Nachoem M. Wijnberg (Amsterdam, 1961) has published 16 books of poetry and 5 novels.   His work is translated in many languages. An earlier collection of English translations – by David Colmer – was published by Anvil Poetry Press in the U.K. under the title Advance Payment (2013). Nachoem Wijnberg is also a professor at the University of Amsterdam Business School.

David Colmer is an Australian translator of Dutch literature based in Amsterdam. He has won many translation prizes, including the Impac prize for his 2010 translation of Gerbrand Bakker’s The Twin and the Independent Foreign Fiction award for his 2012 rendering of Bakker’s The Detour. His most recent translation is Even Now, a selection from the collected poetry of the giant of Flemish letters, Hugo Claus.

“”Who would ask me how the world is made, if not an angel?” Nachoem Wijinberg asks. The answers he provides in The Divan of Ghalib, reveal that the spirit guiding his hand, in poems at once witty and wise, is none other than the great Mughal poet who proclaimed that “There is only one beloved face/ but it is everywhere.” And the beloved is everywhere on display in this highly original, and angelic, book.”

–Christopher Merrill, author of Necessities

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