An Anthology of Modern Urdu Poetry

In English Translation, with Urdu Text

  • Editor: M.A.R. Habib
  • Translator: M.A.R. Habib
  • Pages: xlii & 195 pp.
  • Published: 2003
  • ISBN: 9780873527972 (Paperback)
An Anthology of Modern Urdu Poetry Cover
Paperback ($13.00)

“The next time I teach a course in the translated modern literature of the subcontinent, Habib’s volume will be on the required reading list. I consider his the best collection of Urdu poetry in English translation, period.”

—K. E. Bryant, University of British Columbia

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 literatures 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.

M. A. R. Habib, associate professor of English at Rutgers University, Camden, is the author of The Dissident Voice: Poems of N. M. Rashed in English Translation and The Early T. S. Eliot and Western Philosophy. He is currently completing a book on the history of literary criticism.

Majid Amjad
Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Saqi Farooqi
Akbar Hyderabadi
Akhtar ul-Iman
Kishwar Naheed
Munir Niazi
N. M. Rashed
Fahmidah Riaz