Book Review – The Best Of Faiz – Translated by Shiv K. Kumar

imagesTo begin with, I don’t know if I am the right person to talk about poetry. I am slowly developing a taste towards it. Never liked it in school or college but ever since I attended one evening where Gulzar Sahab recited some of his works, I have developed a taste towards poetry and it’s is growing on my mind like one feels after having a few sips of a good red wine.

Faiz Ahmed Faiz, a name who needs no introduction. Those who know poetry, know who he is. He is the colossus of Urdu poetry and has inspired people and ghazal singers over the years. Random House’s imprint, Vintage Classics came up with a collection of some of his selected works, translated by Shiv K. Kumar who again needs no introduction. This book contains translations of Faiz’s most popular Urdu poems into English and Hindi, which worked for me like magic. I personally feel that to understand and devour on poetry, you need to have a real good vocabulary. I am not so lucky in that department hence this idea of having translations in Hindi and English worked for me.

The book has close to 90 of his famous works of poetry having his works describing love, longing, pain, freedom, friendship and many more facets of a person’s life in the simplest of words. The best part is, the poems can be read in Hindi, English and Urdu scripts which makes this book a collector’s item. His quatrains are something that I thoroughly enjoyed while reading this book. Before signing up with this post, I would like to share a couple of lines from the book.

My vow of restraint, also my desire’s covenant.
But I wish to move beyond both pledges and promises
Pain so intense, there’s a riot in every vein-
and such tranquility that I’d rather cease to be.

Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Vintage Classics
Genre : Poetry
ISBN : 978-8-184-00382-6

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