An Anthology of Modern Urdu Poetry
Currently spoken by almost 250 million people in Pakistan and India and the second most widely spoken language in Britain, Urdu has one of the richest literature of all south Asian languages. The modern Urdu poets presented in this book offer a fascinating range of forms and styles that grew out of that tradition, as well as a complex commentary on the experience--personal, religious, cultural, political--of the issues and dilemmas of the twentieth century. In his introduction, M. A. R. Habib outlines the history of Urdu literature, identifies the major poets associated with the classical tradition, discusses some Western influences, and describes the formal genres of the poetry (the qasida, the masnavi, and the marisiya forms of the longer poems; the qit'a, the rubai, and the ghazal forms of the shorter poems). Together, the commentary and the poems in this volume provide an informed introduction to major modern trends in Urdu poetry.