Has contemporary Urdu poetry lost its essence?

A shrinking creativeness and an absence of philosophical considering have contributed to the downfall of Urdu poetry

In Urdu literature, historically two ideas have remained dominant on the subject of the place creativity emanates from. The first is amad (spontaneity) and second is awrad (contrived). For a very long time, the vast majority of Urdu writers, and the socio-cultural ethos typically, tilted extra in the direction of the amad principle, with Mirza Ghalib writing,

“Aate hain ghaib se ye mazaameen khayaal mein

Ghalib  sareer-e-Khaama nawaa-e-sarosh hai…”

(The topics (for my poetry) come to me from divine hidden sources,

The scratching sound my pen makes resonates just like the sound of angels)

There had been a number of writers who grappled with these concepts in Urdu literature, nonetheless they weren’t formally conceptualised till Muhammad Hussain Azad, Altaf Hussain Hali and Shibli Nomani started to have interaction with these ideas. They had been those who laid the inspiration of recent literary criticism in Urdu literature. However, the very rules which underpinned poetic thought in Urdu at the moment are underneath menace.

Today, sadly, an excessive amount of poetry in Pakistan comprises imitation sans thought. This is in opposition to the Aristotelian idea of imitation whereby an artist internalises the method of imitation to conceive an thought throughout the thoughts after which creates a murals by using their creativeness. There is little question that emotions and feelings play an vital position in poetry, however they continue to be discordant and chaotic until they’re introduced inside a inventive framework. Fredrich Nietzsche in his guide The Birth of Tragedy said that creativity manifests itself in two methods: Dionysian and Apollonian. Nietzsche was of the view that the tragic poetry of historic Greece was born out of a uncommon cooperation between the Dionysian spirit of ecstatic intoxication, which imbues the work with vitality and keenness, and the Apollonian spirit, which is the form-giving pressure that creates concord. It is vital to know this earlier than one makes an attempt to deal with the poetry of Allama Iqbal since since he tried to harness the Dionysian vitality.

Dr Khalifa Abdul Hakeem in his guide ‘Fikar-e-Iqbal’ appears to recommend that Iqbal’s poetry is impressed extra by Dionysian zeal than his Apollonian spirit. Hakeem contextualises Nietzsche’s thought of Dionysian ecstatic intoxication within the Muslim context by endorsing Nomani’s favour of Arab poets who via their poems impressed warriors to struggle fearlessly with typical Dionysian ardour. Here we are able to clearly see a break up within the thought and poetry of Iqbal. However, the aim of this isn’t to degrade the standard of his work however to as an alternative try and determine the locus the place poetic thought diverges from rational thought. Both poetic and philosophical thought explains the identical experiences via the identical medium however with totally different teleologies.

Wisdom comes via a cultivation of unified sensibilities. In order to grasp the quagmire Urdu writing in Pakistan is at the moment in, it’s useful to distinction our present predicament with the literary concepts which got here to outline Germany literature. The writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Friedrich Holderlin, Christian Friedrich Hebbel, Heinrich Wilhelm von Kliest, Gunter Grass and plenty of extra had been steeped in philosophical ideas – a notion which Urdu poetry seems to be more and more bereft of.

Poetry sans concepts gives solely pleasure with out ending in knowledge. However, Urdu poetry at this time just isn’t the one sufferer of this poverty of concepts and is in reality emblematic of the overall mental situation of the area. When we take inventory of the pre-modern interval of Urdu literature, we see darbars (courts) of kings and rulers full of legions of poets competing with one another by taking part in with phrases and composing poetry with out a lot thought. In the court docket of Bahadur Shah Zafar we discover poets indulging in typical jealousies, and scheming to win his favour via poetry. But we can not discover many occasion throughout these occasions the place thinkers had been debating over the concepts associated to humanities, science, philosophy and different fields of information. This drawback has solely turn into additional exacerbated with time, therefore ensuing it the present predicament which Urdu poetry faces at this time.

When Azad and Hali began their venture of literary modernism, they needed to infuse new concepts into poetry by introducing contemporary themes and remodeling the fashionable literary canon. In a lecture in 1874, Azad urged writers to emancipate poetry from conventional enclosures and shackles, in any other case, he warned, “a day will arrive when your offspring will find their language without any trace of poetry.” Thereafter, Urdu witnessed some high quality poetry that synthesised the breadth of thought, profundity of emotions, and the sublimity of creativeness. During the mid twentieth century, Urdu poetry enriched the poetic oeuvre of Urdu literature by dwelling upon a rising disenchantment with the fashionable world. But now that wave resides on the peripheries, and the contemporary literary panorama of Urdu poetry is more and more resembling a wasteland. Two components have contributed to to this worrisome situation – a shrinking creativeness and an absence of philosophical considering. When a poet ceases to soak up new streams of information, this solely serves to restrict their imaginative horizons.

Abdul Rahman in his guide ‘Ma’rrat ul Shair’ feedback upon how each these components have contributed in the direction of the poverty of poetry. According to Rahman, solely when a poet’s corpus of information is huge will he have the ability to discover an abundance of that means and metaphors. He writes,

“Between thoughtful and vulgar poetry you will always find a wide spectrum of ideas in the former, and narrowness and paucity of ideas in the latter. The one which addresses wider ideas will repeat the same thought hundreds of times but always express them in a novel way with new meaning. On the other hand, the one which adheres to a narrow spectrum of ideas will fail to do so.”

Therefore, a lot of the poetry in Pakistan at this time is discovered to be missing as a result of the fountains of philosophy have virtually dried up. Consequently, whereas our hearts are nonetheless saturated with feelings, our minds have gotten more and more bereft of philosophic thought. Urdu poetry at this time wants a reconciliation between thought and feeling by creating a brand new romanticism wherein each poetry and philosophy can as soon as once more start to tell each other. This is crucial if we want to recapture the glory of Urdu poetry.

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