Mahfil. v 1, V. 1 ( 1963) p. 2.


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Mahfil. vol. 1, no. 1 2

FAIZ AHMAD PAIZ A Biographical Sketch

Faiz Ahmad Faiz was born in Sialkot, West Pakistan, in 1911» He was educated in that city at Scotch Mission High School, in addition to studying privately Arabic and Persian languages and literature. After college in Sialkot, he went to Lahore where he took a master^ degree in English and Arabic at Government College^ In 1931^ he became a lecturer in English in a college in Amritsar, but later returned to Lahore, with its bustling literary life^ In 19H-2 Faiz joined the army where he became an information officer^ he left the army in 194-6, after attaining the rank of lieutenant-colonelt He was then made editor of the Pakistan Times, Lahore, during which time he was very active in the labor movement in Pakistan^ With the political unrest of 195'!) Faiz was arrested on somewhat melodramatic charges of talking part in the so-called "Rawalpindi Conspiracy,11 He spent four years in prison, ironically, his most productive period as a poet. In 19^8, he was again arrested by some over-zealous officials after the revolution of that year» Soon realizing their mistake, the officials released him with honor, and eagerly sought his services in their new adminis^ tration, Since I960, he has been the secretary of the Pakistan Art Council, and in 1962, was awarded a Lenin Peace Prize,

Faiz is not only the most popular Urdu poet on the Indo-» Pakistan sub-continent, but also the most significant among his contemporaries• Faiz appeared on the Urdu literary scene when Mohammad Iqbal (187^-1938), the greatest Urdu poet of this century, was about to depart, Though Jqbal had many imitators, there was no immediate heir who could carry on his tradition of didactic poetry at a comparable level of seriousness and sincerity. Faiz^s poetry is far from being didactic, but is rather indirect and suggestive. In its philosophical aspects, however, his poetry is distinguished by a simila.r sincerity and a high seriousness as Iqbal ^ Faiz^ poetry is mellow in tone and intimate in nature^ he is moved by the enormous problems of his world, but his responses are not public, but rather personal 5 he does not seek to destroy 9 for he ha/fces destruction and tyranny of any kind; rather, he seeks to affirm his own faith in the future and in man. There are no slogans in his poetry, only a strong declaration of faith; he is concerned neither with the so-called "demonstrable truths" of political theorists, nor with the vague and sentimental tendernesses.of. many of his contemporaries, Faiz^ concern is with the real, with the personal. His devotion is to the human. Similarly, his language is essentially lyrical, a beautiful amalgam of the traditional and the modern in the symbols it contains and the images it reveals, Faiz has written ^hazals of traditional format, as veil as poems in the more modern style^ in both, he has maintained his individual style; in both, he sliows a slow musical quality in line and soft modulating



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