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The twentieth-century produced several major Urdu poets, but the place that Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911–1984) occupied in the galaxy of poets was unique. Faiz created a unique poetic structure while inventing a new language of metaphoric modes of expression. He absorbed what was best in the classical Urdu poetry and fused it with the grammar of revolution and resistance that was the need of times. But he didn’t stop there. He went a step further. He transformed his revolutionary thinking into aesthetic sensibility, and the two were never separated. Going to the prison was thus an act that was as beautiful as the “slowly opening lips of that beauty.” There was as much joy in pursuing the path of revolution as there was in shadowing the path taken by the beloved.
Faiz often talked about his two loves (“do i’shq”) – the love of the land and the love for his beloved. His third love stayed hidden in the later part of his poetic work. He talked about it in the speech that he delivered while accepting the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962. Humankind, he said, could not be divided into national boundaries as watertight compartments. He quoted Hafiz Shirazi, the great Persian poet: “Every foundation you see is faulty, except that of love, which is faultless.” All humans desired to live in peace and prosperity. To understand the importance of this cosmic vision, one had to look at the earth from the stars.
This book not only brings the most significant poetic writings of Faiz in one place, but it also offers a critical appreciation of his work, poem by poem, ghazal after ghazal in an entirely new way, never seen before. FAIZ: From Passionate Love to a Cosmic Vision is an in-depth look inside the genius of one of the greatest poets of the Indian subcontinent.
The author : Surinder Deol