....FROM THE MUNDANE TO THE SUBLIME.....
(The greatness of Afzal Shauq's work rests upon his greatness as a poet)
.. Uzma Jamil ..
When I fall ill, he heals me.
Art must take its basic appeal through the senses and it must reveal through the inner truth of the experience thus sensuously recorded poetry must aspire to the plasticity of the sculpture, to the colour of painting and to the magic suggestiveness of music.
By the power of the written words to make upon you hear....................,
to make you feel...........................,
before all to make you see.
The daring perspective brought to the world the figure of Afzal Shauq. Well versed in the poetics of the western literature, he competes many western literary genres. Unfolding deeper mysteries of life, finding the truth of being and employing to the meaning of peace are the major themes of his poetry. Established his reputation as a poet and has been translated to many languages. His words are largely mundane, and occasionally sordid lines are therefore ironically framed with a specific dimension.
A highly allusive style, parodying numerous literary interweaves great erudition with banal and scatological references. His words join to form every conceivable source to create an obscure and densely structured text.
The style and structural frame work of his poetry give it an additional advantage. Not a single word is wasted or out of place, where the language is decorative, it is so for the sake of the artistic worth of the poem. Each poem is a compact and concrete whole in itself. Once we start reading his poetry, we feel like going through the whole of it. His poetry expresses the living values and demonstrates how a good poet can simultaneously speak for peace keeping in view the values.
The greatness of Afzal Shauq's work rests upon his greatness as a poet. The power that transmutes his vilification into art is his poetic power. Like a lofty poet he accepts the prevailing mode and enriches them with a surprising variety of charms. His excellences are his own which overflow the limitations. He has a noble soul with a high conception of his calling, and this personal loftiness imparts loftiness to all that he writes.
The nature of his poetic genius which,later on, gets involved and bogged down in personal squabbles and literary lampooning. Unconsciously, as though, the alert craftsman in him, takes hold of him, and produces work of amazing aesthetic symmetry. It is an accepted fact that a poet is a maker and poetry is made out of choice of words and choice of order of words and so is the case with the poetry of Afzal Shauq.
The excellence of the poetry of Afzal Shauq became strikingly obvious in perennially seeking after perfection. His poetry lapses all too readily into a barren formalism, encouraging purely internal analysis of works of art, a concentration on their patterns of organization to the exclusive of questions of imaginative depth and value.
Acutely aware of the pettiness and the meanness of the modern society, and of the evils which spring from it, he is unsurpassed in his knowledge of the seamy side of life, which he presents with startling frankness. Being a keen and subtle analyst of life, his sensitiveness, his depth of penetration into the human nature, give up for a subtlety unparallel day and in his attempts he tries to grasp the delicate and elusive shades of feeling and fix them in words, becoming incomprehensible.
Developing his style from the straightforward, simple writing to the complex allusiveness. Afzal Shauq has a sensitive ear for the verbal rhythms and cadences, and uses language as a poet of an elaborately conceived artistic pattern, in which unity of work lies. with the beauty of language for its own sake only he is usually little concerned, yet his writing is often of great imaginative power and has a musical quality which enables his poems to be read aloud with considerable pleasure. It is that:
As I pen my thoughts and dreams
words I cannot say,
I bear in my heart to the wind
blow them to the wind
I bear my........
on a balmy day
may it catch on fire
and blow pour love my way.
His genius is for the intense sensations. His imagination has the faculty of filling up the gaps in an action presented in fragment, of getting the impression of an active life from a mere hinting indication of the high moments. It is felt that Afzal Shauq’s imagination is stimulated and rendered more active, is actually exhilarated, by broken bits of information, as the nerves are stimulated by the discontinuity of an electric current.
He has, through a sheer miracle, wrought ill-assorted elements into a strong synthesis; he has, in a learnt style, loaded with the nervous impart of stern realities, carried onward by a rhythm which not only multiplies their hard rigor, but bathes it in a meditative music through which the soul catches an under tone of softer harmonics.
It is in fact a tribute to the subtly and intensity of Afzal Shauq that words so insistent as his rarely seems laboured and arbitrary. He always remains faithful to that sobriety where there is power and truth and peace...............Underneath his sobriety the discerning reader will perceive a genuine sympathy. It is as a poet, as an artificer of splendid p[periods, an evolver of atmosphere, a translator of concrete phenomena into living words.
He may be compared with such a radiant and brilliant sun whose rays not only enlightened the earth of the literary world but also makes its dark nooks and corners full of lightness and brightness.
The poetry of Afzal Shauq is further remarkable for its fusion of passionate feeling and logical argument.
YOU being my true beloved
live so deep in me
and make such integral part of my soul
whenever I praise your
name I share the pride
of being praise
Power of imagination in alliance with an extra ordinary command over words enables him to tell us such surprising and yet inevitable things as:
who makes me die
in sweet way
is the face of my soul.
Wishing him all that he can carry as a peace maker of the world.