Urdu Poetry: Mir Taqi Mir

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Written by Randeep Purewall

Mir (né Muhammad Taqi Mir) was born in Agra in 1722. His father died when Mir was eleven years old, leaving the boy to seek an education and patronage in Delhi. Mir was educated in Delhi by the poet and scholar Khan-e-Arzu and supported by a nobleman, but left the city upon Nadir Shah’s invasion in 1739

It was years later after returning to Delhi, that Mir became a prominent poet, winning high-ranking patrons and competing with the poets Dard and Sauda in musha’ara (poetic symposiums). Delhi was being repeatedly invaded during this period, however, by Afghans, Jat and Marathas. For Mir, the times marked not only the decline of the city, but the setting of a civilization.

This age is not like that which went before it
The times have changed, the earth and sky have changed

In 1782, Mir left Delhi for Lucknow as had other poets like Sauda before him. He found patronage in Lucknow at the court of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula where he received a pension and continued to write poetry. He died in 1810.

mir

Mir’s verses express the impermanence of life and the grief at the loss of love, beauty and spring. At the same time, his poems underline the transcendent experience and journey of love through the colours of the garden, the movement of the stars and heart of man.

How long is the life of a rose?
The bud just smiles

Mir’s themes of love and beauty and pain and separation established the conventions of classical Urdu poetry and his style inspired later poets like Ghalib (1797-1869). He also helped establish Urdu as a literary language. Mir reviewed and refined the use of Urdu in the musha’ara of Delhi and naturalized its use of Persian expressions. He wrote, moreover,  in the everyday language of the city, making the language of Delhi, the language of poetry.

Selected Verse
(Trans. Russell, Islam; Sadiq; Ali)

Every leaf and every plant my state do know
The rose knows not what the garden knows

The world is full of illusions
We behold here what we imagine

The streets of Delhi were not mere streets
They were like the album of a painter
Every figure I saw there
Was a model of perfection

The spring has come, the flowers bloom cheek by cheek
Would you and I might stand thus in the garden!

The greatest sinner, Mir
Was he who adopted love as his religion

The moments of happiness
Within this world were few
Now weep for the smiling dawn
Of the garden like the dew

I never saw the stars so bright before
It was her eyes that taught them how to shine

To keep my eyes on you, and you alone
My one and only heart’s desire is this
To open them only if you are there
The height to which I can aspire is this

Mir, quit the company of Shaikh and Brahmin
And mosque and temple too – leave them behind.
Lay one stone on another in the desert
Worship your Love at your own humble shrine

I grant you sir, the preacher is an angel
To be a man, now – that’s more difficult

Go to the mosque; stand knocking at the door
Live all your days with drunkards in their den
Do anything you want to do, my friend,
But do not seek to harm your fellowmen

What days those were!
When I would drink and climb up to the tavern roof
And fall asleep, the white sheet of the moonlight over me

Man was first made of clay
And if the song you sing be good
This world of clay for years to come
Will listen to your voice

Sources:

Ahmed Ali, The Golden Tradition: An Anthology of Urdu Poetry (Columbia University Press, New York, 1973).

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, Mir and Ghalib: Comparisons (trans by F.W. Pritchett), 1997.
http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00garden/about/txt_srf_mir_ghalib.html

Khurshidul Islam and Ralph Russell, Three Mughal Poets (Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1991)

Muhammad Sadiq, A History of Urdu Literature (Oxford University Press, London: 1964)

Urdu Poetry: Sauda

lucknow-mosque

Written by Randeep Purewall

To many of his contemporaries, Mirza Muhammad Rafi Sauda (1713-1781) was the embodiment of the ideal mirza. He served in the army and was a courtier and man of letters. His friendship among the nobility won him patronage as a poet and the audience of the likes of the Emperor Shah Alam (r. 1759-1806).

The eighteenth century however was a time of political disorder and confusion in Delhi. The Mughal Empire had begun to disintegrate after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. In 1719, the Emperor Farrukhsiyar was blinded and imprisoned by his own generals. The city was sacked by Nadir Shah in 1739 and later suffered invasions by the Afghans, Jats and Marathas:

How can anyone close his eyes in sleep these days?
For fear of thieves even mischief keeps awake during the night.

The devastation of Delhi prompted an exodus from the city. In 1754, Sauda left Delhi and went in search of patrons in the Kingdom of Awadh. He took service in the courts of prominent nawabs  in Farrukhabad and Faizabad before settling in Lucknow in 1774 at the court of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula.

Under Asaf-ud-Daula, Lucknow experienced an age of cultural splendor. Poetry, music and calligraphy flourished while mosques, gardens and gateways were built. Sauda was named Poet Laureate by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula and remained in Lucknow until his death in 1781.

mirza-rafi-sauda

Sauda is the greatest non-ghazal of the eighteenth century and one of the three pillars of Urdu poetry. He helped refine the language through mushairras in Delhi. He made Urdu the language of panegyric (qasida), narrative (masnavi), satirical (hajv) and elegaic verse (marsiya). He also composed one of the first shahar-e-ashob in Urdu upon leaving Delhi for Farrukhabad:

How can I describe the desolation of Delhi?
There is no house from where the jackal’s cry cannot be heard
The mosques at evening are unlit and deserted
And only in one house in a hundred will you see a light burning

Sauda’s poetry is bold, vigorous and earthy. It reflects the spirit of a man of this world who, while prone to exaggeration, was also funny and playful in his verse. His satires reveal much about the society and culture of 18th century India with its corrupt officials, decadent nawabs, greedy merchants and cunning maulvis.

On the gluttony of Mir Zahik, a Delhi poet and rival of Sauda:

He only has to hear a saucepan rattle
And like a soldier digging in for battle
He’ll take up his position by the door
Nothing can shift him then: that god of war,
Rustam himself, might rise up from the tomb
And try his strength against him. He’d stand firm
He’d fight to the last breath and never yield
Until his corpse was carried from the field.

I am not the fairest flower in the garden
Nor am I thorn in any man’s path
I am neither famous for virtue
Nor notorious for vice
I seek nobody’s favours
And want nobody to seek mine
People may think well or ill of me as they please
I act as my nature prompts me
(Trans. R. Russell)

On Fulad Khan, the Police Officer

O my friends, where are those days
When the hand of a person stealing a lemon was cut off!
What peace and tranquility reign then
And how happily the people lived!
The police officer was above corruption
And not a single thief was to be found
But alas! corruption creeps everywhere now
And the city is full of thieves, loafers and cut-purses …
(Trans. M. Sadiq)

Ridiculing The Times (Tazhik-e-Rozgar)

Should one give up all and take
to Sufism, his fate is then to become
a laughing stock for the poets –
They compare his turban’s end
To a donkey’s tail, the turban itself
To a dome.

If in ecstatic dance at songs divine
He shouldn’t keep time, they whisper
“How silly, to be out of step!”
And if he moves to time, they say,
“What the hell! Is this a nautch-girl’s dance?”

Forsaking the world and trusting in God
If you sit at home, the wife believes
You to be an idle, feckless wastrel
Your son’s sure in his heart that you
Are in his dotage. Your daughter thinks
“The old man’s mad for sure”.
(Trans. S.R. Farqui; R. Purewall)

Sources:

Ahmed Ali, The Golden Tradition: An Anthology of Urdu Poetry (Columbia University Press, New York, 1973).

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, The Satires of Sauda (1706-1781), University of Heidelberg, September 2010.

Muhammad Sadiq, A History of Urdu Literature (Oxford University Press, London: 1964)

‘KarmaaN Maari – The Ill Fated’ a poem by Shehnaz Parveen Sahar

An Urdu poem in English and Punjabi.
Punjabi shahmukhi
Punjabi roman
Urdu
English

photofromshenaz

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Punjabi Shahmukhi >

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کرماں ماری

ہنے ہنے
میں فیر
اوس محفل
توں
نس آئی آں
جتھے رفو،زاہدہ ،عرشی، ٹیبی
میرے
آل دوالے
بیٹھیاں میرے لہنگےاتّے
چمپا گوٹا لا رہئیاں نے
میرے ہتھیں
شگن دی مہندی
متھےاتے
جھومر ٹکہ
لا رہئیاں نے
بابل والے گیت وداعی
گا رہئیاں نے
ویکھو سب دیاں ونگاں ویکھو
چھنک کھنک کے
ایہہ وی سنگت پا رہئیاں نے

ایہہ سب کُج پر کاہدے لئی اے

جھلییو
تسی تے کج وی جاندیاں نئیں
اگے اگ دا
کرماں ساڑدا
لال سمندر
ٹھاٹھاں ماردا آ ڈُھکیا اے
انج کرنا تسی
مینوں اپنے نال ای لے کے ٹرجانا

ایس توں پہل۔۔۔
گیت تہاڈےاگ وچ سڑ کے
پُھٹ پُھٹ روون
چیکاں مارن

اڑیو
میری گل تاں سن لئو
کتھے چلیاں
مڑ کےویکھو
واپس آئو
سکھیونی
مینوں گل نال لائو
سن لئو اڑیو
خورے میریاں آوازاں
نوں کیوں نئیں سُن دیاں
اپنےسارے گیت نمانے لیندیاں جائو
ویکھوکسراں
میرے گل وچ بانہواں پا کے
چیکاں مار کے
رو پئے سارے

خورے مینوں کلیاں چھڈ کے
کیوں تسی ساریاں
ٹر گیئاں جے
پچھے اپنیاں آوازاں وی چھڈ گئیاں جے
اے آوازاں
میری جان دے پچھے پے گیئاں نے

گوٹے کرناں بھریاں چُنیاں دے نال
اتھرواں والیاں۔۔۔ اکھیاں نوں
کج ہوروی کنڈے مل جاندے نے
ہونٹ سدا لئی سل جاندے نے

اُتّوں تہا ڈ یاں کن من کن من آوازاں نے
ساہ لینا وی اوکھا کیتا

سنونی اڑیو
اک گل دسّو
آخر تسی اے ساریاں رل کے
اچی اچی
ہسدیاں کیوں جے؟؟؟

شہناز پروین سحر
..

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< Punjabi, roman

KarmaaN Maari
By
Shehnaz Parveen Sahar

Hunnay hunnay
maiN fer
oss mehfil
tooN
nuss aye aaN
jithay raffo, zahida, arshi, tabby
mere
aalay dwaalay
baithiyaan mere lehngay uttay
champa gotta la rahyaaN naiN
mere hatheeN
shagn dee mehndi
mathay uttay
jhoomar tikka
la rahyaaN naiN
babul walay geet vidaee
ga rahyaN naiN
vekho sab diyaN wangaN vekho
chhanak khhanak ke
eh ve sangat pa rahyaaN naiN

eh sab kujh per kahday laye ae
jhalliyo
tusseiN te kujh ve jandiyaN nahin
aggay agg da
karmaN saarrda
laal smundar
tthatthaN marda aa Dhukeya ae
inj karna tusseiN
mainuN apnay naal ee lae ke tur jana

ais toon pehlaN
geet tuhaday agg vich surr ke
phutt phutt rowan
cheekaN maran

Arreyo
meri gal te sunn lao
kithay chaliyaN
murr ke vekho
wapas aao
sakhiyo nee
mainun gal nal lao
sunn lao arreyo
khawray meriyan awazaN
nooN kiyuN nahin sunndiyaN
apnay saaray geet nomaanay laindiyaN jao
vekho kissraN
mere gal vich baNhwaN paa ke
cheekaN maar ke
ro pai saaray

Khawray mainuN kaleyaN chudd ke
kiyuN tueeiN saariyaN
Tur gayaN je
pichhay apniyaN awazaN ve chudd gayaN je
eh awazaN
meri jan de pichay paindiaN naiN

gottay kirnaN bhariyaN chuniyaN naal
athro valiyaN…. akhiyaN nooN
kujh hor ve kanday mil janday naiN
honT sada laye sil janday naiN

Sunno nee Arriyo
ek gul dusso
akhar tusseiN eh sariyaN rul ke
uchi uchi
hudiyaN kiyuN je????
..


Urdu, original >

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کرماں ماری

ابھی ابھی
میں پھر
اُس محفل سے اٹھ
بھاگی ہوں
جس میں
رفو، زاہدہ ،عرشی، ٹیبی
میرے
لہنگے پر چمپا گوٹا لگا رہی ہیں
میرے ہاتھوں پر مہندی
اور
میرے ماتھے
مانگ کا ٹیکہ سجا رہی ہیں
بابل کی دعائیں لیتی جا
گاتی جاتی ہیں
دیکھو
میری چوڑیاں دیکھو
ساتھ تمھارے
وہ بھی کچھ
گنگنا رہی ہیں

لیکن یہ سب
کیا ہے آخر
کیا تم کو کچھ خبر نہیں ہے
اس سے آگے
آگ کا دریا
کیسےٹھاٹھیں ماررہا ہے
مجھےیہاں سے لے جائواب
قبل اس کے
یہ گیت تمھارے
چیخیں ماریں
پھوٹ پھوٹ کر رونے لگیں سب
اور
ذرا تم رکو
بتائو
کہاں چلی ہو
کیا تم تک آوازیں میری پوہنچ رہی ہیں
سنو
میری آوازتو سن لو
مجھےبھی ساتھ میں لے کر جائو
مجھے اکیلا چھوڑ کے
ایسے
کیسے تم سب جا سکتی ہو
واپس آئو
آجائو ناں

کم از کم یہ گیت تمھارے
اپنے ساتھ ہی لیتی جائو
دیکھو یہ آوازیں میری
جاں لے لے لیں گی

تم اپنی
آوازیں چھوڑ کے چلی گئی ہو
یہ آوازیں تو
بلکل پاگل کردیتی ہیں
اور
گوٹا کرن بھرے دوپٹے سے
آنسو صاف کرو تو آنکھیں
اورسپنے
سب چھل جاتے ہیں
ہونٹ سدا کو سل جاتے ہیں
اوپر سے
تمھاری
آوازیں ہیں

سنو۔۔۔
یہ تم سب
آخراتنا
ہنستی کیوں ہو؟؟؟

شہناز پروین سحر
..

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< English

The Ill-Fated
By
Shehnaz Parveen Sahar

Just now
again i
ran away
from the gathering
where
ruffo, zahida, arshi, tabby
are tucking silver gold decorations on
my wedding gown
hena in my hands
and
on my forehead
a tikka in the parting of my hair
‘take the prayers of your parents with you’
they are singing
look
look my bracelets
are also
humming along
with you

But what is
all this
do you not know
how a river of fire
rages on and on
in front of me
take me with you
before the time when
your songs
become screams
burst into tears
and you
just stop for a moment
say
where are you going
can you hear me
listen
hear my voice
take me with you
leaving me alone
like this
how can you go
come back here
come back

Your songs at least
take them with you
i tell you their echoes will claim
my life from me

You left
leaving behind your voices
these voices can
make anyone insane
and
with a cloth of silver gold decorations
when the tears are wiped then eyes
and dreams both
get scratched
lips get sealed forever
and on top of it
your
voices

Listen…
you all!
Why is it that you
laugh so much?

From Urdu by Fauzia Rafique
..

photo-shenaz

Shehnaz Parveen Sahar: An acclaimed poet from Pakistan.

 Photos from Sahar’s Facebook Page

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Urdu Poetry and Iqbal

iqbalpic

Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) once said that he did not consider himself a poet. It is no use to compare him to Ghalib, Rumi or Tagore. There is little flight of imagination or profound silences in Iqbal’s poems. And yet, he influenced Urdu poetry.

First, Iqbal moved Urdu poetry from the classical poets’ inner world of anguish to the world of action. More than any other modern Urdu poet, Iqbal made Urdu poetry a tool for critique, a vehicle of social change, a quest for meaning and an affirmation of the human spirit. While many point to Faiz’ transformation of moth and flame into modern metaphors of revolution, it was Iqbal who first oriented Urdu poetical metaphors towards the moral and social revitalization of man and society.

Second, the musicality of Iqbal’s verse enriched the melody of Urdu. Faiz notes Iqbal’s use of unconventional metre (as in ‘Masjid-e-Qurtaba’), his use of unfamiliar (yet simple) words, his unprecedented use of proper names such as Delhi, Hejaz and Misr and his deliberate patterning of vowel and consonantal sounds, produced entire lines and quatrains that are a spectrum of sound and melody.

So, in “Ek Shaam” (‘One Evening’), Iqbal marries the picture of the hushed atmosphere over the valley to the sibilant consonants of verse (‘vaadee ke nava farosh khaamosh/kahsaar kee sabz posh khaamosh’), lulling the reader into silence. He rouses us from slumber through dramatic assonance (‘Ae Khuda Shikwah-e-Arbab-e-Wafa Bhi Sun Le/Khugar-e-Hamd Se Thora Sa Gila Bhi Sun Le’ in the poem ‘Shikwa’) and strings together sounds at the end of words (Rang ho ya Khisht-o-sang/Chang ho ya harf-o-saut) as if beating an Indian dafli drum.

Third, the range of themes and influence in Iqbal’s poetry is considerable, opening up horizons for Urdu. Through Iqbal, Urdu poetry pulses with the spirit of Keats, Nietzche, Bergson, Goethe to Rumi, Ghalib, Naziri and Bedil. His range of forms include ghazals, nazms, qita, rubiyat and mussadas verse forms; his range of subject matter, childrens’ poems, the nation, cinema, self-realization and imperialism; and his reader travels from the banks of the Ravi to the shores of Sicily to the Himalayas. Iqbal’s poetry is as much a epic history of twentieth century Asia as it is a philosophy of life.

He may not have considered himself a poet. Yet in making poetry the medium through which to express his message, Iqbal transformed the content, range and direction of Urdu poetry, suggesting an almost boundless range of place, theme and subject.

Written by Randeep Singh

Further Reading:

V.G. Kiernan (trans.), Poems from Iqbal: Renderings in English Verse with Comparative Urdu Text (Oxford University Press, Pakistan: 2013).

Sheema Majeed (ed.), Culture and Identity: Selected English Writings of Faiz (Oxford University Press, Karachi: 2005).

Barbara Metcalf, “Iqbal’s Imagined Geographies: The East, the West, the Nation, and Islam” in Kathryn Hansen and David Lelyveld, A Wilderness of Possibilities: Urdu Studies in Transnational Perspective (eds.) (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2005).

Iqbal Singh, The Ardent Pilgrim: An Introduction to the Life and Work of Mohammad Iqbal . (Oxford University, New Delhi: 1997).

Indian poet Gulzar pulls out of Karachi Literature Festival

gulzar_afp_670

KARACHI: Leading Indian poet Gulzar, who won an Oscar for writing song lyrics for the smash hit movie “Slumdog Millionaire”, has pulled out of the Karachi Literary festival at the last minute, organisers said Wednesday.

Syed Ahmed Shah, one of the organisers of the Karachi Literature Festival, confirmed Gulzar had pulled out – just two days before the start of the event.

“We can’t say about the reasons and circumstances that led to his return home without attending the festival,” Shah told AFP.

Indian officials denied Pakistani media reports that they had advised the poet to return to India.

Vishal Bhardwaj, an Indian director traveling with Gulzar, said there was “nothing political” about the withdrawal.

The 76-year-old was simply “emotionally overwhelmed and stressed” after visiting his birthplace, in Pakistan, for the first time in 70 years, Bhardwaj insisted.

But a Pakistani film director, who met Gulzar during his visit, told AFP on condition of anonymity that he left the country “because of some security concerns”.

Gulzar was scheduled to read from his poetry as well as take part in discussion groups and Shah said his absence would disappoint millions of admirers in Pakistan.

“Pakistan had welcomed him with great warmth and zeal two days ago as he is hugely popular as well in our country,” Shah said.

“His arrival was a great confidence building measure between the two neighbours and had boosted morale of the people living across the border for a better future relationship.”

From The Daily Dawn, Karachi
http://dawn.com/2013/02/13/gulzar-pulls-out-of-karachi-literature-festival/

uddariblog@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Uddari-Weblog/333586816691660
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Meera Ji’s 100th – ‘Ambiguity itself’ by Sarwat Ali

 Meeraji
May 25, 1912 – November 4, 1949

On his hundredth birthday that falls on May 25, 2012, Meera Ji’s experimental poetic expression can be evaluated more objectively

Meera Ji died young, not fully appreciated for a poetic expression that was very experimental and hounded for his unconventional lifestyle.

Given the current situation where the ideological divide between the right and left is no longer the decisive criteria in assessing a work of literature, some newer critical canon is waiting to be established. Since the erstwhile divide imposed with rigidity posited literature as front for an ideological battle, it was not always assessed on the basis that was its very own.

Meera Ji’s life was difficult because he decided to swim against the current of the mainstream Progressive Writers Association. His was a distinct voice, very individual, extremely subjective and sensitive to the smaller issues and feelings which otherwise get swarmed by overwhelming questions.

He wrote nazms (poems)and was obviously inspired by much that was happening in the West in literature and other disciplines like psychology. Initially the nazm was a revolt against the highly stylised dominant form of the ghazal (rhyming verse). It was considered to be less well-wrought, less dependent on associated references and loaded metaphors. It was closer to being a statement and this objectivity was a much cherished aim in the 19th century but, by the time nazm came within the creative grasp of Meera Ji, it became the poetic manifestation of an inner voice.

Meera Ji’s inner voice was of suppressed instincts that did not find an outlet in poetry directly but only in the well-wrought framework of an inherited tradition. The instincts were given a form that was artistically closer to the chaos and anarchy of the instinctual aspects of a human being and its expression too had to be reflective of the turmoil that makes up the essential self of man.

Before Meera Ji, Noon Meem Rashed had written the nazm inspired by the late Romantics and the Imagists. Rashed really worked on his poems, and at times the hardwork showed. But where Rashed’s effort was contrived, Meera Ji wrote with an effortless ease. This is not to say that he did not work on his poems and wrote in a fit of inspiration, only that his effort did not become obvious and his craft was more honed than some of his contemporaries.

Meera Ji’s work was seen by some as directly flowing out of sexual energy and was libidinal, as if what he wrote was actually an expression of the lack of an outlet for sexual expression as well. But this was only a selective reading of his works. He was less concerned with repression and its lack of outlet and more with the mysteries of the sex drive, the basic instincts that filled human life with the force and the energy to think beyond the precision of the event. It was fully comprehended without wrapping it in an elaborate system of thought. Meera Ji had the spontaneity of a super craftsman.

In his earlier phase, Meera Ji wrote nazms that were formalistic and structured. In the later phase, under the influence of the geet (song), he wrote poetry that was extremely lyrical but did not follow any formalistic design. The geet does not, as a genre, follow a formal structure and is quite accommodating in its pattern and rhyme scheme; the only criteria being that it should retain its lyrical quality. This criterion was fulfilled with great promise by Meera Ji. His geets were extremely lyrical and did not follow the form of a nazm. He was in the process of discovering an inner structure for the unity of the poem as compared to a more formal one. The association of meaning, the references and the allusions, all knitted his nazm to give it a sharpened edge that possibly could not have been achieved if the dictates of a formal structure had been lurking in the background during the act of creation.

As the inner structure was not apparent, Meera Ji was criticised for being ambiguous. The subject that Meera Ji found to be potent was ambiguity itself and the initial reaction of the reader to be lost in the maze of an experience, though overwhelming, was shrouded in mystery and questioned by many. The subject itself was not cut and dried and laid down in any order. This ambiguity was the consequence of the magical environment that Meera Ji was able to weave in his poems, the atmosphere that he created, full of indirections with no direct linkages.

Meera Ji was a very well-read man and extremely educated about the poetic forms of the past and the age that he was living in. The greatest proof of that are his extensive prose writings on various poets and literary movements. As a critic, Meera Ji was a critical observer looking very closely at the writings and poems, developing arguments backed by historical references and contemporary instances. His critical pieces had no ambiguity, no magical maze — instead, only clarity of thought and a forcefulness of reasoning.

His understating of contemporary poetry and the reasons that gave birth to such a poetic expression was quite astonishing. The poetry closer to his own was ruthlessly scrutinised and he found these either truly inspirational, or at least the words resonating his own poetic experience.

Meera Ji was not alone in that ambiguous mysterious, haunting world; it was the sensibility of an age that he was only sharing. The European poets of the late nineteenth and twentieth century had moved away from the formal structures to explore an area of experience that could not be grasped by rationality and scientific explanation. New doubts had arisen and questions were being raised also by poets, some directly and some not so directly. As in those poets, in Meera Ji too, childhood played a critical part. For authenticity, he could relate to that primal experience and then to its sublimation, mythology, which gave an artistic cover to the hopes, aspirations and foibles of human existence.

The personality of Meera Ji too was put under the microscopic lens and many moral issues were raised regarding his conduct in society. But he was essentially a poet in rebellion against the mainstream culture of his times. For him truth lay beyond social norms and manners, even if it involved sacrificing mundane living. His love for poetic truth was just as sincere as his love for Meera Sen. He lost in love but succeeded in immortalising the supremacy of love through his poems.

From http://jang.com.pk/thenews/may2012-weekly/nos-20-05-2012/lit.htm#1

Recommended by Ijaz Syed
syedi@sbcglobal.net

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A poem by Meera Ji

Piyaare lamhe aayen ge aur majboori miT jaye gi
Hum dono mil jayen ge aur sab doori miT jaye gi

Har dam Behne wali aankhon ki mala bhi TooTay gi
Teri meri hasti iss bairi bandhan se chooTay gi

Lekin yeh sab baatein hain apne jee ke behlaanay ki
Dukh ki raat main dheere dheere dil ka dard miTaanay ki

Rotay rotay hanstay hanstay ruktay ruktay gaanay ki
Sukh ka sapna sookha hai aur sookha hi reh jaye ga

Sooni saij pe prem kahani premi yoon keh jaye ga
Hote hote sara jeewan aankhon se beh jaye ga

Text from: http://www.urdupoetry123.com/urdu-nazam/meera-jee/poetry_shayari_sad_romantic_poem_02.htm

More on Meera Ji
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meeraji
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Iftikhar Nasim Ifti – English and Urdu Poems

Ghazal
By Iftikhar Nasim Ifti

Saza he de hai, duaoun main bhe asar de kar
zuban le gaya meri, mujhay nazar de kar

khud apnay dil se mita de hai khawahish-e-parwaaz
ura diya hai magar khud usko apnay par de kar

nikal paray hain sabhi ab panah-gahon se
gozar gae hai seeah shub, ghum-e-sahar de kar

usay main apni safai main kia bhala kehta
wo poochta tha jo mohlat bhe mukhtasar de kar

Ghazal
By Iftikhar Nasim Ifti

Kise k haq main sahi, faisla hoa tu hai
mera nahi, wo kise shaks ka hoa tu hai

Ye he bohat hai k us ne mujhay bhe mas tu kia
ye lams mujh main abhi tak racha hoa tu hai

Usay main khul k kabhi yaad kar tu sakta hon
mujhay khushi hai, wo mujh se juda hoa tu hai

Sakot-e-shub he sahi mera humsafar lekin
meray siwa bhe koe jaagta hoa tu hai

Ghutan k barhti chali ja rahi hai andar ki
tamaam khush hain k mousam khula hoa tu hai

Ye aur baat k main zinda reh gaya hon Naseem
har ek sitam meri jan par rawa hoa tu hai

Poem
By Iftikhar Nasim Ifti

There was no knock at the door
My cats were waiting in the foyer,
Listening to the steps passing by.
Children were knocking at door
of the apartment in front of mine.
“Trick or treat. Trick or treat”
My money jar full of quarters
looked so empty.
What happened? Who played
These dirty tricks on me?
Thirty one year as a law abiding citizen
I am still a foreigner. Foreigner
With a crude face and features of
a terrorist. My color two shade
Darker than an average white man
Is not accepted anymore.
My café ole color, once I was so proud of,
Is a guilt trip for me now.
My ethnicity has become a crime.

Mean streets of Chicago have become meaner.
“Go back to your country. Go back to your country.”
They yell at me.
And I am a citizen of USA
with no country.
Airports, train stations, shopping malls, schools,
Hospitals wherever I go, I am watched and scrutinized.
I yearn for the freedom I came here for.
Right now I am worst than a slave.
I am tired. I am tired. I feel like Rosa Park
and there is no bus for me.
Because I am not only two shade darker
than an average white man
But I am also a Muslim

Mere Baabaa
By Iftikhar Nasim Ifti

Mere Baabaa,
sab kahte haiN
merii shakl
aap se miltii-jultii hai

merii aaNkheN
merii peshaanii
mere hoNT
meraa lahjaa
baateN karne kaa andaaz
uThne-baiThne
chalne-phirne ka andaaz
mere haathoN kii harkat
sab kuch aap hii jaisaa hai

maiNe sunaa hai beTaa
baap kii nasl kaa vaaris hotaa hai

mere zehn meN ek savaal ubhartaa hai
maiN jo bilkul aap par huuN
to phir merii tarjiih-e-jins
aapse kyuuN is darja alag hai?

My Father
By Ifti Naseem

My father,
everyone says
my appearence
resemble yours.

My eyes
my forehead
my lips
my accent
the way I talk
sit around
the way I walk;
movement of my hands,
everything is like yours only.

I have heard that the son
is the heir of his father’s lineage.

A questions comes to my mind.
If I am exactly like you
then why my sexual preference
is so much different from yours?

Courtesy Syed Raza

Poems selected by:
Tabby Shahida
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=530977471&sk=notes
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