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Friday, July 3, 2009

Akhtar Shairani Commemoration. (2005-9)

Akhtar Shairani, the leading romantic poet of Urdu, was born at Tonk (Rajputana) on 4th May 1905. His real name was Muhammad Dawood Khan while Akhtar was his nom-de-plume. He was the son of the well-known Oriental scholar Hafiz Mahmood Shairani. Akthar got his education at Oriental College, Lahore. Right from his childhood, he took keen interest in literature and verse. This is why he resorted to journalism and edited various literary magazines of Lahore. Akhtar was one of the most popular poets of his age. He left nine Collections of his verses to keep his memory alive. In prose, apart from his fictions and translations, his essays on literary, critical and historical subjects are in abundance.
Akhtar Shairani is a famous romantic poet of the sub-continent. Youth dominates his poetry like that of Shelley, Keats, and Byron. Lyricism, subtlety and novelty infuse a new spirit into his poetry. He exhales verse as a flower exhales fragrance. His verses touching various colourful subjects flow with such tremendous ease and felicity as the reader is moved to ecstasy. Most of the critics have concentrated only on one aspect of his verse i.e. “Love Poetry”. It cannot be denied that he has written a lot of such poetry but it is unfair to say that he has only confined himself to the physical beauty of woman. Woman to him is beautiful in all her forms and shapes; the beloved, the wife, the mother and the sister. It is she who has made this universe colourful and fascinating. Wordsworth, the father of romantic poetry finds the immanence of Divine Spirit in the objects of Nature. Akhtar’s depiction of Nature is second to none but unlike Wordsworth he finds the objects of Nature imbued with the beauty of woman. He uses woman as a symbol that stands for beauty and love permeating the whole universe. As to his skill Akhtar is quite innovative and has introduced new modes in Urdu poetry. His selection of words and images inhere a kind of freshness. At such a green age he wrote mature and inspiring poetry. He breathed his last on 9th September 1948, at Lahore and was buried in Miani Sahib Graveyard.
Variegated aspects and artistic skill of Akhtar Shairani’s Poetry lend him a distinguished place in the modern Urdu poetry. He has influenced the Urdu literature and the poetry in particular, a great deal and could rightly be Called a trendsetter. Several distinguished poets and literary figures of the Urdu world have imbibed directly from him, rather it will not be out of place to say that those who differ from him in principle regarding verse and literature, could not evade his influence even.
To pay tribute and homage to Akhtar Shairani, a commemorative postage stamp of Rs. 5/- denomination, in the series of Poets of Pakistan is being issued by Pakistan Post Office on June 30, 2005.