History of Urdu Poetry
Urdu poetry (Urdu: اردو شاعری Urdu Shayari) is a rich tradition of poetry and has many different types and forms. Borrowing much from the Persian language, it is today an important part of Pakistani and North Indian culture.Like other languages, the history of Urdu poetry shares origins and influences with other linguistic traditions within the Urdu-Hindi-Hindustani mix. Literary figures as far back as Kabir (1440–1518 CE) and even Amir Khusro (1253-1325 CE) inspired later Urdu poets, and served as intellectual and linguistic sources. Meer, Dard, Ghalib, Anis, Mustafa Meerza Urf Piyare Saheb (Rasheed) Syed Sajjad Husain (Shadeed), Talib Khundmiri(Feb 14, 1938 – Jan 16 2011), Allama Dr. Syed Ali Imam Zaidi (Gauher) Lucknavi. Syed Sibtey Husain Naqvi (Jauher), Dabeer, Iqbal, Zauq, Josh, Jigar, Faiz, Firaq and Syed Shmad Shah (Ahmad Faraz) are among the greatest poets of Urdu. The tradition is centered in the subcontinent. Following the Partition of India in 1947, it found major poets and scholars residing primarily in modern Pakistan[dubious – discuss]. Mushairas (or poetic expositions) are today held in metropolitan areas worldwide.
Forms of Urdu poetry
The principal forms of Urdu poetry are:
- Ghazal, usually a short love lyric, sometimes a poem on a general subject. Strictly speaking it should have the same rhyme throughout. Urdu ghazals for the most part are artificial and conventional.
- Qasida, a kind of ode, often panegyric on a benefactor, sometimes a satire, sometimes a poem dealing with an important event. As a rule it is longer than ghazal, but it follows the same system of rhyme.
- Marsiya (or elegy), is nearly always on the death of Hasan and Husain and their families, but occasionally on the death of relatives and friends. It is usually in six-lined stanzas with the rhyme aaaabb. The recitation of these elegies in the first ten days of Muharram is one of the greatest event in Muslim life. A fully developed marsiya is always an epic. The famous marsia writers who inherited the tradition of Mir Anis among his successive generations are Mir Nawab Ali ‘Munis’, Dulaha Sahab ‘Uruj’, Mustafa Meerza urf Piyare Sahab ‘Rasheed’, Syed Muhammad Mirza Uns, Ali Nawab ‘Qadeem’, Syed Sajjad Hussain “Shadeed” Lucknavi, Allama, Dr.Syed Ali Imam Zaidi, “Gauher” Luckhnavi the(great grandson of Mir Babber Ali Anis).
- Masnavi, in the majority of cases a poetic romance. It may extend to several thousand lines, but generally is much shorter. A few masnavis deal with ordinary domestic and other occurrences. Mir and Sauda wrote some of this kind. They are always in heroic couplets, and the common metre is bacchic tetrameter with an iambus for last foot. The Religious masnavi Histori of Islam (Tarikh-e-Islam Az Quran) written by Dr. Syed Ali Imam Zaidi Gauher Lucknavi.
- Tazkira, biographical anthology, almost always of poetry alone. This is often a mere collection of names with a line or two of information about each poet, followed by specimen of his composition. On the other hand it may be the history of Urdu poetry with copious illustrative extracts. The best tazkiras give biographical details, but fail in literary criticism, and we get little idea of style or poetical power, still less of contents of poems. Even the large anthologies do not systematically review an author’s work. Most of them have the names in alphabetical order, but one or two prefer historical order. The majority quote only lyrics, and the quotations, usually chosen at random, do not illustrate poetry.
- Nazm Urdu nazm is a major part of Urdu poetry. From Nazeer Akarabadi, Iqbal, Josh, Firaq, Akhtarul Iman to down the line Noon Meem Rashid, Faiz, Ali Sardar Jafri and Kaifi Azmi. They have covered common life, philosophical thinking, national issues and the precarious predecament of individual human being.
Collection forms of Urdu poetry
The principal collection forms of Urdu poetry are: