Mir Taqi Mir: The ‘conveyor of angst, sorrow and loneliness’

Syed shed light on the different stages of love that Mir went through from a young to a mature age

By Our Correspondent
December 01, 2023
In this still, Afzal Ahmed Syed reads a paper on the love and passion of Mir Taqi Mir on the panel discussion during the 16th Aalmi Urdu Conference on November 30, 2023. —Facebook/Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi

Being the first speaker on the panel discussing ‘Three centuries of Mir’ on the inauguration day of the 16th Aalmi Urdu Conference on Thursday, Afzal Ahmed Syed read his paper on the love and passion of Mir Taqi Mir, a renowned Urdu poet from the 18th century.

Syed shed light on the different stages of love that Mir went through from a young to a mature age, by reading the couplets of the celebrated poet. He said that Mir expressed his emotions in poetry that was simple yet unusual, which is a commendable talent.

Sharing his research, Syed quoted some writers as saying that the woman Mir loved was his relative and happened to live in the same house as his. However, despite a deep emotional connection they apparently could not be together for reasons unknown, and Mir has expressed this longing in his poetry.

Syed said that this deep love made Mir one of the greatest poets of the Urdu language. He said that when this love was obstructed, it reflected in Mir’s poetry, earning him the title of the poet of angst.

In the meantime, Zehra Nigah presented a unique perspective and expressed Mir’s free and independent nature. Iftikhar Arif mentioned his apprehension of feeling fear after reading Ghalib, saying that when he read Mir, the fear went away. Arif contemplated that he could not utter such verses until the “day of judgment”.

Tahseen Firaqi said that conveying the loneliness and sorrow of the world is not an easy task, but Mir has done it in a remarkable manner. He said that the concept of classical poetry is incomplete with Mir’s trademark of Chak Gareban. He added that several poets, including Faiz Ahmed Faiz, have benefited from Mir’s style.

Firasat Rizvi argued that it is not appropriate to associate a poet with a single style. He said that Mir’s central style is undoubtedly unique, but he has several diverse styles in which his thoughts about expatriation and the universe stand out. All of them added depth to Mir’s poetry, Rizvi said.

Mubeen Mirza said the three centuries were not only important to Mir, but also for a culture and society that evolved reading Mir’s poetry.