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March 9, 2019

Translation of Parveen Shakir’s selected verses launched

Lahore

March 9, 2019

LAHORE: Coinciding with the World Woman’s Day, Franco-German Centre, Lahore, in partnership with an international press, hosted a book launching and discussion ‘Defiance of the Rose’, a translation of selected verses by Parveen Shakir into English by Naima Rashid on Friday.

Parveen Shakir is widely considered among the most popular Urdu poets and despite her huge popularity, this was the first ever translation of her verses into English with an international publishing house. The translator, herself a woman of highly enlightened literary tastes and linguistic skills, has a long affiliation with the Alliance Francaise, Lahore. She first joined it as a student of French Language and Culture, and started her career in languages there, moving on to Kinnaird College for Women, and French Consulate in Jeddah.

Naima Rashid, the translator of the book, selected the auto-biographical poems of Parveen Shakir which included Misfit, Suggestions of A Senior, Tomato Ketchup, A poem for My Son, What Journey Remains and Beyond the Night.

All the poems reflected different dimensions of Parveen Shakir, a larger than life figure in every aspect and a brave woman who faced the strings & arrows of the society at a very young age and until her last breath in a tragic accident. To Naima, Parveen Shakir is a special person, simple, passionate, honest and trustworthy human being. She selected Parveen Shakir among a galaxy of female poets for her persona and translated her into English just because she wanted to share this highly inspiring poetry with the rest of the world. For the book, she is currently on book tour, beginning with a launch at and poetry workshop in Karachi, passing through Lahore with this present event and launch at a bookstore (Conversation with Amjad Islam Amjad, moderated by Dr Ali Madeeh Hashmi on 11th March. The last leg of the tour will be the events in Islamabad. The tour comes full circle with the return to Jeddah, where later in the month, the French Consulate of Jeddah hosts a discussion between the translator and a reader’s circle that convenes monthly at the French Consulate to discuss a book per month.

The circle comprises a dedicated community of Francophone women belonging to different walks of life, and joined by their love of the French language and an interest in books and intellectually stimulating discussions. The event was a rare opportunity for the admirers of Urdu poetry, literature and Parveen Shakir alike. A large number of people attended the event. Naima Rashid recited six selected poems by Parveen Shakir.

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