Poets Are The Messengers Of Humanity
There are three figures who are meritorious for divine gift of Providence. The prophets are endowed with the gift of revelation. The philosophy is based on intellectual reasoning. The poetry is the product of intuition with overflow of passions transcended in tranquillity. These personalities are God gifted. They cannot be made by artificial modes and methods. They are endowed with natural proclivities and propensities which others don’t possess.
Some of my friends have asked me about the mission of poetry. Very briefly, I would like to say that the grand mission of poetry is the promotion of humanity. Poetry is of several kinds; romantic poetry, pastoral poetry, religious poetry, philosophical poetry, political poetry, revolutionary poetry, and humorous poetry.
Most of the poets are romantic poets as love’s pain is the most intense part of grief. Everyone experiences it in life. Whether, one succeeds or fails in the experience of love, it is a universal passion. Love is different than lust. Love is a very sacred and pure passion. It is neither a sin, nor a crime.
In ancient times, to express love passion to the beloved was not welcomed in religious and traditional cultures. The lovers had no source to contact their beloveds. It was a close culture. Now, in advanced societies, there is no binding on love affair or match-making. Even sexual freedom is rampant in the Western countries. But even with all personal freedom, the hearts are wounded because of common divorces and the betrayal of the partners.
William Shakespeare had excellently praised the true, firm and selfless passion of love, when he wrote that love does not alter, when it finds alterations. As soul is immortal, love is immortal. John Keats is known as the poet of beauty. He was fascinated by the winsomeness of his beloved Fanny Brown and suffered the woes of love and died in youth time. The pastoral poetry depicts natural sights and scenes.
An Australian poet Paterson is a great pastoral poet. He is one of my favourite poets. Religious and philosophical poetry like the poetry of Milton, Sheikh Saadi, Altaf Hussain Hali and Dr Iqbal gives spiritual and didactic message. Humorous poetry purges out the pent up passions of depressed and grieved souls.
In English literature, we find sunny humour in the poetry of Chaucer and Pope. In Urdu, we have some eminent mighty humorous poets who gave serious message through humorous poetry such as Zamir Jafri, but majority of Urdu humorous poets are like Shakespearian clowns and are buffoons and jesters. They are only entertainers.
Shelley is known as the poet of revolution and social justice. In Urdu poetry Dr Iqbal, Josh Malih Abadi, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Sahir Ludyanvi, Habib Jalib and Ahmed Faraz are well known for their revolutionary poetry. Lord Byron in his “Childe Herald” explicitly expounds the need of political freedom. In the opinion of Matthew Arnold, T.S. Eliot and Altaf Hussain Hali, poetry has a serious mission. It is not the task of banters. William Wordsworth considered poetry a chosen task. This chosen task in the words of great philosopher and poet of East, Dr Iqbal is the serious mission of reformation. In a Persian couplet he says:
“If the purpose of poetry is the reformation of humans, then it is a prophetic mission.”
Mostly, my fans and friends invite me in Mushaira/public poetry recitation meetings. I humbly apologize and do not attend public poetry sessions. I want to tell the younger generation that public poetry sessions are our traditional culture. When, there were no literary magazines, book publishing facilities and newspapers, the only way to reach out the people was Mushaira.
Now, in this modern and advanced age, we have all facilities to publish and publicize our writings. My thirty two books of poetry, philosophy and politics in seven languages have been published and 15 books are unpublished and God willing will be soon published. There is an adage in English, “either publish or perish”.
I would suggest the young poets to improve their vocabulary by reading the classic and modern masters of poetry. The study of Persian language and literature will polish their poetry diction and the study of English language and literature will enhance their scholastic outlook. Dr Iqbal and Faiz Ahmed Faiz were the masters of English literature and created sublime and superb poetry in Urdu.
We should not run after cheap popularity and sham fame like the pack and clique of some poets, who are divided into literary camps and groups and like cheap politicians are at daggers drawn. There is no short cut to achieve literary excellence and immortality. Be the eagles of Dr Iqbal and do not join the company of crows.