Stories about poems

Majaz Lakhnawi advices young women to ‘lift the veil, raise the flag’

Majaz Lakhnawi lived through a turbulent yet exciting time: in 1930’s British-controlled India, where patriarchy also raised its ugly head, especially in Muslim households. Yet Majaz, who himself was born in a Muslim family, became a prominent member of the Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA), whose task was to rid India both of British colonialism and patriarchy. He quickly became a popular poet, ahead of his illustrious peers, both amongst young men and women, due to his message of revolution and female emancipation. Owing to just a few of his poems, Majaz has entered the pantheon of great poets who recounted the social history of the Indian subcontinent ...

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The story of my life as a Poetic Scribe

“Hassan would travel the world on foot. By day he would brew tea – maybe Cairo, maybe Morocco. He would find different ways to sustain his travels as he always only moved from city to city by foot, guided by the moonlight. The day was to work he claimed, and the night to travel. Soon after this wandering artist crossed the Wagah Border, he met the love of his life. And anchored his heart in Lahore. Please can you put all these details in your poem”, said Shama. I blinked at this stunning woman telling me a very personal love story of her dearest ...

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Lub pay aati hai dua bann kay tamanna meri

On December 16, 2014 The Express Tribune blogs desk received many submissions from grief stricken people from all over Pakistan. These people wanted to show their solidarity with the families of the victims. They wanted to mourn the deaths of the students and teachers from the Army Public School, who were brutally massacred by the TTP in Peshawar. Due to shortage of space, we were unable to accommodate many, but we understood that this was a traumatic event in which every Pakistani’s protest should be recorded. So, this post was created as a window for people to come together and ...

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Pakistan ko ‘Dekh magar pyaar se’

As unusual as it may sound, for a while now, I haven’t been able to understand why we, in Pakistan, don’t flaunt the wonderful truck art we have. I, for one, absolutely love the art-on-the-wheel concept. As much as a common Pakistani takes pride in Faisal Mosque, Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque, I take pride in truck art. For me, it is not the architecture – built by foreigners before the idea of Pakistan was even conceived – that defines us, it is truck art that boasts of our vibrant personality which defines us perfectly. If the various personalities in Pakistan ...

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Maya Angelou – An enlightened glow in the world of literature

When I read the news about Maya Angelou’s death yesterday, I felt a small ache in my heart. Our world lost another great laureate this year, Gabriel Garcia Marquez being the first. Angelou’s work is commendable. For me, she was a woman who had seen all facades of life and with her vast intellect, she enriched our literary world. She has published seven autobiographies and various books of poetry. Her books give a deep insight to her childhood and early adult experiences. Her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published in 1969 which was a narrative of her life till she ...

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In loving memory of a friend lost

I am sitting here thinking of what I want to say, But it just won’t come out so I found another way.   Though I am writing out my thoughts, but you’ll never really know, Everything you meant to me, that I couldn’t really show.   In all the ways you have changed my life, I can’t ever tell, Upon me, it looked like, you had cast a magic spell.   The way you calmed my angry moods, You showed me love when I was blue.   For all those gruesome times in which you assisted me, For all the confidence and optimism you poured in me.   I can never express enough gratitude, For helping ...

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Uninspired grandmas, dusty fairytales

I don’t mean this to be a newsletter. In fact, I really mean to discuss a poem by Agha Shahid Ali, but a plug here and there does a reader only good. Besides, how else would you know there is a charming new fairytale out there waiting for you — or that there is a writer in this country who writes fairytales for a living? And to be fair, I am big on fairytales for another reason as well. You see, I am quite aware, given the evidence of evolutionary psychology, that irrespective of the stories we hear when young, ...

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