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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Poets of Pakistan (Series) Faiz Ahmed Faiz - 86th Birth Anniversary. (1997-1)

Faiz Ahmed Faiz was born on February 13,1911 in Sialkot. He received his early education at Scotch Mission High School, Sialkot. He did his B.A. Hon. (Arabic) at Government College, Lahore, in 1931 and an M.A. (English) in 1933. In 1934, he obtained a Master\'s degree in Arabic from the Oriental College, Lahore, and the following year joined the faculty of the M.A.O. College, Amritsar, in the Department of English. He published his first collection of poems, Naqsh-e-Faryadi, in 1941.
From June 1942 to December 1946, he served in the Information Services of the Indian Army and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After resigning from the Army, Faiz worked as the editor of the Pakistan Times and other publications of the Progressive Papers Ltd.
In March 1951, Faiz was charged with conspiring against the govern-ment (\"Rawalpinid Conspiracy Case\"). He spent over four years in jail, including several months in solitary confinement. The charges against him were never proved. He was in jail when his second volume of poetry, Dast-e-Saba, was published in 1952. After his release from jail, he published his third book, Zindan Nama, in 1956. He became one of the bounders of the Afro-Asian Writers\' Association in 1958. In December 1958, he was again arrested. The duration of this second imprisonment was, however, short and he was released in April 1959.
Faiz was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union in 1962. From 1962 to 1964, Faiz lived in England. After his return to Pakistan, he worked in various capacities: Principal, Abdullah Haroon College, Karachi; Vice President, Pakistan Arts Council, Karachi; President, Pakistan National Council of Arts; Advisor on Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Education. Faiz published his fourth volume of Poetry, Dast-e Tah-e Sang, in 1965 which was followed by Sar-e-Wadi-e Sina (1971) and Sham-e -Shar-e Yaran (1978). In 1976, he was awarded the Lotus Prize of the Afro-Asian Writers\' Association.
In 1978, Faiz moved to Beirut, where he stayed till 1982, editing the quarterly Lotus, published by the Afro-Asian Writers\' Association. Faiz published his seventh volume of poetry, Mere Dil Mere Musafir, in 1981 . A deluxe edition of his collected poems, Saarey Sukhan Hamarey, was published from London in 1982, and a different edition of his collected poems, Nuskha Haaye Wafa, was posthumously published from Lahore in 1984.
In addition to Urdu poetry, Faiz also published three volumes of writings dealing with literary and cultural issues and a selection of letters to his wife, Alys Faiz, written during the imprisonment. The original letters, in English, were lost but Faiz translated them into Urdu and published as Salibain Mere Dariche Mein (1971). In addition to his Urdu writings, Faiz also wrote poetry in Punjabi.
Faiz returned to Lahore in November 1983 where he died a year later, on November 20, 1984.
Faiz traveled extensively and left behind many friends and admirers throughout the world. His poetry has been translated into many languages, including Arabic, French, Russian, Persian, Czech, Hindi, Japanese, Hungarian and English. At the time of his death, Faiz was preparing a new English translation of his selected poems in collaboration with Naomi Lazard.
To commemorate the renowned poet Pakistan Post is issuing a stamp of Rs. 3/- denomination on February 13, 1997.