NAGI'S NEW POETIC VENTURE.
Professor. DR Saadat SAEED
Urdu and Pakistan studies chair Ankara University Turkey
Proclaiming poetry and dream identical Christopher Caudwell has pointed out that dream is not a product of premeditated thought and feelings. It contains manifestation of exclusive free associations. The comprehension of these free associations is possible only in the horizon of the dreamer's subjective life. However the insight of Nagi's poetry brings us to the conclusion that although the lunatic and unsubstantial elements of poetry has some coalition with the process of dreams, but it is not an outgrowth of mere free associations of ideas. It bears the clear power of intentional thought and feelings. A part of Nagi's poetry is evidently confined to his social persona. A serious reader of his spirited poetry collections can easily guess that the dominant target of his protest and resistance is the authoritative structure whether it belongs to his own class or world at large.
I am a futile tree
In the pen-pusher system,
I am worn out like a pen
Now by the inkpot of black night,
What do I write
on the thirty papers of white day, trembling in the air
In lieu of the command of the wizards
the condition of life is designated as inferiority.
How do I protest?
How could Nagi talk well in stammering and rugged language and no doubt in more than one language. But he chose the language expressive for his psychological or introverted notions. For him this sort of poetry illuminates the world of his heart, a world with a sharp link to the contamination of his surroundings. Nagi claims that he has remained far away from every genre of seduction and craze, and with his unadulterated soul entered in the macrocosm of poetry.
Nagi's ninth poetic collection has recently came out under the title of Be Khyali Ki Nazmain. He correctly verbalizes in its foreword " Writing Free verse or Prose poem, in an antagonistic poetic tradition is a kind of sacred war. This war whether related to the internal or external self is necessary for the cultivation of poetry. The poet who, like a "Ghazal" writer shows his content on the platitudes, his misery is an open truth.
It is not difficult for any poet to write popular poetry. However it requires courage and subsistence to write poetry in a new style"
The school of New Urdu Poetry is distinguished for its morphological fabrications of new styles and eloquent execution of city-oriented situations. A few critics tried to correlate this movement with the trends innovated by the poets such as N. M. Rashed and Mira Jee, who are said to be the founders of Urdu Free Verse, a school which was primarily parallel to the literary movement conceptualised by the progressive writers and poets. But this opinion is not true altogether. New poets never danced to the tunes set by the leaders of any other school of poetry. Anis Nagi one of the major spokesmen of New Poetry on the one hand refutes the logic of Rashed and his companions justifying their psychological notions expressed in their poems un-poetically and on the other hand denigrates the theorization of the Progressive poets for their manifesto-stricken creations and says in one of his major articles entitled "The Blueprint Of New Poetry" " For new poet, word embodies symbol and the method of its new use is not genuinely adjacent to our poetic tradition. When a word transforms itself into a symbol it seldom validates its prevailing associations. Actually in particular context it originates new associations. The new associations of the words alternate the meanings of their prevailing inheritance. In new poetry, new morphological upsets, new phrases and new images, render the above cited process. In fact the formation of a new experience creates a new non-figurative method and context. The change in the vocabulary of new poets represents the change of emotional idiom."
Here Nagi has been talking about the idiom, evolved in the process of the creation of new cosmopolitan cities. He indicates that after the World War II, the international geography is changing constantly. The familiar shape of the World has become strange. The new problems have been emerged in connection to the construction of new Europe and foundations of new Eastern countries. The basic revolutions in the sphere of science and technology are activating new shifts in the conceptions of material world. Behind the curtain of new scientific operations the emotional and mundane universe of mankind is changing exceptionally. Man has been passing through a period of history, which is sharpening his crisis of identity. Metaphysics is under threat. Man is feeling lonely. New poets are writing poetry in the vistas of these occurrences. When Nagi wrote his first poetry collection "Basharat Ki Raat" the traditionalists opened attack on his new vocabulary and contemporary content. Although Nagi reacted against these critics, but no body knows, latter, why and how he changed his stance and adopted the methodology of writing poetry based on Altaf hussain Hali's ill-favoured concept of simplicity.
The clear-cut and un-garnished style adopted by Anis Nagi in his latest poetic collection, has made his poetry articulate. Every poem by him, in its context, delivers a sort of up-to-date message. Nagi maintains that this is the period of illustration and to use enigmatic and far-fetched metaphors in poetry is like mental gymnastics. This sort of theorization indicates the hidden attack on few of his senior and junior contemporaries, who still think that in poetry new morphological forms and substantial structures are necessary for the real expressions of a poet's ontological exigencies. Having the tones of untraditional aspirations and feelings, how the poets like Anis Nagi, can set aside the basic criterion belong to the innovation of new morphological structures. .
It is worth nothing incidentally that Anis Nagi's unflagging determination to be a poet of grandiloquent impressiveness, in spite of his simple and communicative style, still appears to be an absolute dream. However his original sensibility has given finishing touches to his recently published writings having the traces of light hearted treatment to the themes and loose handling of words. It could be assumed, these poems are not written in an undue haste. Anis Nagi's multifarious aspirations made him prolific writer and poet. He has more than forty books to his credit. Nagi is prominent in treating a number of his senior and junior contemporaries with a high hand, because of the sheer fact that, they try to maintain criteria related to the use of grand language, composition of imagery, formulation of metaphors and creation of symbols.
Though Nagi could not accommodate speculative techniques of writing poetry, particularly ungrammatical style of new poetry introduced by Iftikhar Jalib, but to our astonishment, at times he himself writes experimental rather absurd poetry. Nagi is a salient devotee of the tradition of the absurd literature articulated by Albert Camus in the field of fiction. He has written numerous poems disclosing meaninglessness of life and the social order based on injustice.
In the context of the themes reflected in 32 poems printed in Nagi's collection "Be Khyali Main" it could easily be said that the poet has revealed properly the psyche preponderant in the middle class living in a global city. Nagi envisions in his poems the emanations having the sharp shadows of anxiety, anguish, scepticism, displacement, alienation, absurdity, exploitation, mechanization, commonplace practices, carelessness, lost identification, loneliness, cravings and selfishness. He is struggling against all categories of social authoritarianism. He is sharply against the emotional despotism prevalent in a society having incorporeal inclinations. Nagi as a new poet does not validate the tyranny of the academicians who hail the orthodox and archaic sentiments. His disagreement with the social system secure inhuman proclivities poured on him the role of a mentor working for human pride. He abominates the autocratic triumph of hard-hearted laws over the doomed peoples. His poems demonstrate a sort of new ethics. It can secure well the readers from the consumerist frustrations existing in western civilization and are said to be the main sources of reflective and emotional confinement of eastern societies. The poems in "Be Khyali Ki Nazmain" set down the psyche of injustice in a bitter style.
Nagi has an expanded vision of life and the study of his themes having pensive variety, suggest to the readers that the writer's feelings, have emerged from the dimensions of his wide range emotions. To bring to disrespect, the instinctual and creative necessities of man, is not admirable for Anis Nagi. He does not defend vague, unreliable and high-flown ideas. Nagi is not against the technological and industrial accelerations of new times. However he cannot attune with the double-edged morality of modern man, which causes harm to human soul. For him the several old and traditional values based on falsity, are the outgrowth of a kind of awareness tuned to servitude. He presumes rightly the fact that mores and customs of nasty, ethnic and sectarian inceptions are harmful to the human population. Nagi is a poet retaining unshackle observance. The poems collected in his latest poetry collection have many insinuations of the impressions devoted to human freedom.