Ahmed Faraz

 

ahmed-faraz

Ahmad Faraz (Urdu: احمد فراز‎, born Syed Ahmad Shah (Urdu: سید احمد شاہ‎) on 12 January 1931 in Kohat, died 25 August 2008) was a Pakistani Urdu poet. He was acclaimed one of the modern Urdu poets of the last century. ‘Faraz’ is his pen name, (in Urdu takhalus). He died in Islamabad on 25 August 2008. He was awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Sitara-i-Imtiaz and after his death Hilal-e-Pakistan by the government.

Served as Chairman National Book Foundation Islamabad

Literary

Faraz has been compared with Faiz Ahmad Faiz, holds a unique position as one of the best poets of current times, with a fine but simple style of writing. Even common people can easily understand his poetry.

In an interview with Rediff he recalls how his father, once bought clothes for him on Eid. He didn’t like the clothes meant for him, but preferred the ones meant for his elder brother. This lead him to write his first couplet:

:سب کے واسطے لائے ہیں کپڑے سیل سے

:لائے ہیں میرے لیے قیدی کا کمبل جیل سے

Sab kay waste laye hein kaprye sale se

Laye hein mere liye qaidi ka kambal jail se

(He brought clothes for everybody from the sale)

(For me he brought a blanket from jail)

Political

Faraz was arrested for writing poems that criticised military rulers in Pakistan during the Zia-ul-Haq era. Following that arrest he went into a self-imposed exile. He stayed for 6 years in Britain, Canada and Europe before returning to Pakistan, where he was initially appointed Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters and later chairperson of the Islamabad-based National Book Foundation for several years. He has been awarded with numerous national and international awards. In 2006, he returned the Hilal-e-Imtiaz award he was given in 2004.

He claimed his current writings and said: “I now only write when I am forced to from the inside.” Maintaining a tradition established by his mentor, the revolutionaryFaiz Ahmad Faiz, he wrote some of his best poetry during those days in exile. Famous amongst poetry of resistance has been “Mahasara”. Faraz was also mentioned by actor Shahzada Ghaffar in the Pothwari/Mirpuri telefilm “Khai Aye O”.

Death

Faraz died of kidney failure in a local Islamabad hospital on 25 August 2008. His funeral was held on the evening of 26th, by many admirers and government officials at H-8 Graveyard, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Samples of poetry

A sample of his poetry is:

Nazm: Khwaab martay naheen

Khwaab martay naheen

Khwaab dil hain, nah aankhen, nah saansen keh jo

Rezaa, rezaa huwe to bikhar jaayen ge

Jism kii maut se ye bhii mar jaayen ge

English translation.

Dreams do not die

Dream are heart, nor eyes nor breath

Which shattered, will scatter

Die with the death of the body

Another poetic translation of the above

Dreams do not die

Dreams are heart, nor eyes nor a breath

Which shatter and then they scatter,

Die they all, with end being nigh