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January 19, 2020

As it is poetry of student days

Islamabad

January 19, 2020

‘Duktay Harf’ (painful words) the 4th poetry book of Tasneem Tassadique was written forty years ago. These are the inscribed words of poet’s childhood, which she used to write behind closed doors away from the eyes of the family members.

According to her statement all these words are very dear to her. So, if the reader finds something weird in this poetry book, he/she should ignore it.

As Tasneem Tassadique’s husband was an employee of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and used to be transferred often to different stations, therefore she completely forgot her manuscript containing these poetry pieces after placing it in a cupboard. This manuscript remained buried in a pile of books for over four decades. She one day, luckily, discovered it and got it printed in a book form.

The poet says that this poetry book is made up of her emotions and thoughts. She narrates the tale of her ‘Duktay Harf’ like this: “In 1981 I made a selection of some words and started using them in periods of solitude.”

When this collection of her poetry was written, language, in my view, had not yet started to ripen for her. Let me clarify. Her mind experienced pain before language became fully grown for her.

Since the language is denser in a poem, the word order is so much more significant. Poetry is distinguished by its use of regular patterns of sound, such as alternation of long and short or stressed and unstressed syllables or repetition of similar sounds at regular intervals or in close proximity. Poetry also often uses unusual patterns of word order, often for the sake of metrical regularity.

To get the point across, the poem has to rely on a number of techniques that will evoke emotions in a reader. These techniques are called poetic devices and may include rhyming, metaphors, similes, etc. Tasneem Tassadique’s present book isn’t model poetry in the sense that it exhibits elements of meter, rhyme and stanszaic structure. There are not even the rhyming couplets.

Written in student days the shapes and colors of her poetry are uncharacteristic of her poetry published earlier. Her chosen word do not seem to fit in, thus giving way to vagueness.

Obscurity seems to be a permanent part of her language in this book. Her poetry turns into a complicated stuff, baffling and nonrepresentational, childish and desperate expressions of emotions — clear to her inner mind only.

In this collection her poetry appears to be an inner dialogue, a dialogue just between her and herself sans consideration whether the reader can understand it. The meaning exists only in her mind. It would have been better if she had revised the poetry before publishing it.