Urdu is perhaps one of the most beautiful languages we are blessed with. It feels like a column of sunshine on a cold heart, it feels like poetry upon the wind, and like a tear that escapes the eye while beholding the beauty of the universe. Today, we’re discussing the 10 best books on Urdu poetry.
Urdu Poetry | 10 Best Books On Urdu Poetry:
Jashn-E-Benazir by Mir Yar Ali
Translated into English as The Incomparable Festival, this Indo-Islamic classic is a long poem of rhyming sestet stanzas. It follows the Jashn-E-Benazir or the royal festival, and describes its sensory wonders, in the rekhti verse, which is a sub-genre of gazals. Not only is this book a rich archive of common life at the time, but also a work of literary and poetic genius.
Tarkash by Javed Akhtar
A memoir in verse, this is a beautiful collection of poetry from India’s most well known poet, Javed Akhtar. He writes lucidly and lyrically about his strained relations with his father, his friendships and loves and more. But that is only a section of the book. He soon delves into more human, more universal themes and executes them perfectly.
Naraz by Rahat Indori
This is an anthology of Urdu poetry by the famous poet Rahat Indori consisting of about 90 poems. It delves into broad themes of life and love, introspection and humanism, philosophy and relationships. This is a reflective work of lyrical genius, and deserves to be read more.
Madhushala by Harivansh Rai Bachchan
Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan’s father, Harivansh Rai was a prolific poet in his own right. This is a collection of 135 quatrains, each focusing on the four elements of madira (wine), madhushaala (bar), saki (server) and pyaala (wineglass). All of these have metaphorical meanings, rich symbolisms and varying contexts. Thus this is as much a feat of structural and architectural genius as it is of literary genius.
Aas by Bashir Badr
Winner of the Sahitya Akademi award, people describe this piece of poetry as a ‘drop of dew stuck on a leaf’ or ‘soft sunshine descending on a winter day’. This is also a wonder of lyrical imagery of nature. But also, more serious and heartbreaking themes are prevalent in a direct contrast.
Talkhiyan by Sahir Ludhianvi
This is a verse collection by popular radio poet Sahir, which he wrote when he was nineteen. Despite his young age, it is a work of profundity and depth. His musical inclinations are quite evident here, all his poems have a lilting rhythm to them. His works tackle a multitude of themes and motifs but also draw on his own life.
Diwan-E-Ghalib by Mirza Ghalib
This is perhaps one of the most read and loved books of Urdu poetry, and rightly so. It’s a collection of about two hundred gazals, spanning various themes and motifs. It’s a must read for anyone interested in Urdu.
Daste-Saba by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
This is a collection of Faiz’s prison poetry, filled with wistfulness and tenderness. The title roughly translates to ‘The Hand of Breeze’, and that is exactly what the poems feel like. Like Wind through your hair. There are themes of love, longing, freedom and memory.
Lekin by Jaun Elia
A distinct landmark in Urdu literature, this is a work od intense rebellion. It captures the heart of Islamic common life and gives a distinct and coherent voice to those unheard.
Baal-E-Jibreel by Muhammad Iqbal
The English translation of this title would read as ‘Wings of Gabriel’. This is a philosophical poetic work of Islamic literature, which uses various forms such as gazals, quatrains, epigrams and poetry. With religious undertones and moral overtones, this book creates magic with its lyricism.
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