From the Jacket
Faiz Ahmed Faiz was one of the leading, if not the foremost, poet of the Indian subcontinent during the greater part of the last century. Listed four times for the Nobel Prize of Poetry, he was often compared to his friend Pablo Neruda, revolutionary poet and Nobel Prize winner, of Chile. Of Faiz's multifaceted personality, which led him to become, amongst other things, an activist for human rights and liberties, a famous journalist and editor of literary magazines, trade unionist, and film song writer, it is his poetry which will, no doubt, best survive the test of time. His very first volume of poetry, published in 1941from Lucknow, brought him instant celebrity. Naqsh-e-Faryadi or Imprints has since haunted more than one generation of Urdu lovers. Its combination of classical and elegant Indo-Persian diction with modern sentiment and sensibility still touches the heart of the reader. Apart from inventing the modern Urdu love poem, Faiz revolutionized the classical form of Urdu poetry, the Ghazal, giving it a Powerful socio-political resonance. He used ancient forms of poetry, such as the Qawwali and the Geet, to convey his message of humanism without reference to caste, colour or creed. He suffered prison and exile of this in his homeland of Pakistan, where he was for long years, denied access to the media. The musicality of his verse has continued to haunt many a younger poet, even though it is difficult to attain his unforgettable summits.
The chronological presentation, herein of 60 Poems, 10 quatrains and no less than 30 ghazals, some never translated into English before, will enable the reader to follow the development of the young and romantic poet into the foremost leader of the literary opposition to those who trample on human rights, and the defender of the lowly and the mute. A transcription into Roman Script has been added for those who can understand, but may not be able to read, Urdu.
About the Author
The author is a graduate of Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, who after working in a various hospitals in India, had a career of Fundamental Medical Research in France. Inheriting the love of letters and of Urdu an Persian poetry from her family tradition, particularly her erudite mother, she has, after retirement, returned from France to her family home in Dehradun. She tries to further the knowledge of Urdu, and its poetic sensibility, by translation of its classical poets into English.
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