Halqa-e-Danish Lecture Series
Shāʻirī ke Safeer: Afzal Ahmed Syed in conversation with Moeen Nizami
About the Series: Halqa-e-Danish, Spring 2020 will bring to LUMS two major Urdu poets—Afzal Ahmed Syed and Moeen Nizami—who have translated works of two eminent Persian Poets—Bedil and Sohrab Sepehri—into Urdu. The series aims to generate a discussion around the craft of literary translation and the unique challenges faced by translators of poetry through an engagement with the work of two canonical poets whose work has influenced writers across linguistic and national boundaries.
Abdul Qadir Bēdil (d.1720) is one of the most illustrious names amongst the Persian Poets of South Asia. Bedil was a philosophical poet and an influential thinker. He is credited as the strongest influence on the poetry of Mirza Ghalib. Over the course of his lifetime he authored sixteen books of poetry containing nearly 147,000 verses. His verses are highly complex in style, yet their innovative imagery gives new meanings to everyday objects. Original metaphors, innovative rhyming patterns, and unconventional symbols are abundant in his work. His linguistic feats and philosophical ideas continue to hold influence over the Persianate world.
Afzal Ahmed Syed is an eminent contemporary Urdu poet and translator. He has authored three Nazam collections: Cheenī Hu’ī Tarīkh (1984), Do Zubanoñ Mai Saza’-e-Maut (1990), and Rococo aur Doosrī Dunīya’ein (2000), and a collection of Ghazals titled Khaimā-e-Siāh (1988). His poetry is characterized by a singularity of style and expression that lends to their artistic excellence. In 2013, he translated the Dīvān of Mir Taqi Mir’s Persian Poetry into Urdu. More recently, he has rendered selections from Bedil’s poetry in Urdu. He is a professor of Urdu literature and poetry at Habib University, Karachi.
Organized by the GCLL