Prose Poem -1 - By Professor Dr. Sadaat Seed

Prose Poem-1

Though the term Prose poem is paradoxical in its nature, yet it is an accepted reality from the days Charles Baudelaire, the great French symbolist poet introduced it. His pose poems Widows, The beautiful Dorothy, and vocations encompass and combine narrative and rhythmic means. Paul Claudel, Aloysius Berrtrend and Arther Rimbaud wrote artistic prose poetry.

Poetry written in metre ruins poet's free ideas. Metre brings with it all its connotations and shades. Prose poem writer creates new dimensional prose rhythms and with the powerful flight of his imagination combines unrelated things, notions and objects. Talking about free verse H G Roth declares that it solicits unlimited reveries of ancient world. We can apply this fact to prose poem which brings about the desired results. Even living in the modern world prose poem writers have successfully carried out their schemes of embracing the unrestrained and free expressions and symbolic discourses of ancient man. Free verser and prose poet both construct symbols. Ernst Cassirer says Man is symbolic animal. His languages, religions, sciences and art all depict his symbolic expressions. Owning the views comprehended by the followers of Freudian psychoanalysis prose poets too think that symbols and signs are extremely frank and beautified shapes of human ideas. Poets can bring to the surface of consciousness deep and fascinating music. Baudelaire was of the opinion that poets should aim to reach to the symbolic substance of feelings and capture speculatively the real truth hidden in the caves of perception.

It is necessary to observe all the formalities of metre, rhymes, and post rhymes words. Prose poets do not bother about these restrictions. But if rhymes suit the music and rhythm of ideas, they seldom overlook them. Prose poem in Urdu can be consider as a great leap towards the change in traditional concepts of form. We cannot detach form from associations of ideas and suggestions of feelings. Their natural expressions provide objective shape to a form. Modernistic trends and necessities emerging from new times change emotional and sentimental setups. Poetic modes brings their own forms with them. Javed Shaheen, Afzal Ahmad Sayid, Anis Nagi, Abdur Rashid, Qamar Jameel, Kishwar Naheed, Rais Frogh, Ahmad Hamaish, Anopa Hyder, Mehmood Kanwar, Sarwat Hussain, Azra Abbas, Shaista Habib, Qamar Jameel, Mubarik Ahmad, Nasreen Anjum Bhatti, Fahim Jozi, Tanvir Anjum, Zeeshan Sahil and many other poets adopted this new form and compiled notable collections. They rebel even against the relaxed conditions of metric rhythm in verse libre and express their psychological passions and emotional associations in such a way that from nothingness new forms containing free associations come into existence. Prose poems require full harmony between experience and expression. Free associations and rapid images often constitute scattered concepts in the poems written by Urdu prose poets to the extent that it is impossible to discover some type of objective continuation in them, but because of the particular spirit of their rhythm and impact harmonious whole necessarily become visible. Prose poem has the power of presenting objectively or subjectively the diversified and dimensional subjects. Proper arrangements of lines, inner connotations and particular mode of parlances create rhythm and impact. Lines should be continuous and in full flow. Images should construct new meaningful or absurd totalities. Prose poets are struggling hard to win over readers' opinions in their favour. We present here few excerpts from prose poems written by Azra Abbas, Nasreen Anjum Bhatti, Afzal Ahmad Syed

Those who don't fall prey

to accidents

while crossing roads in their childhood

are devoured by

an epidemic.

Those who survive it

are trapped by

something unexpected

and die

those who survive

are killed by other survivors

And these other survivors then

die their own death

( A Poem by Azra Abbas)

(Translated by Frances W Pritchett and Asif Aslam Farrukhi)

To fear is to abdicate life

If I'd be given another life

I shall grow bamboo forests

And encamped in green sunlight,

(Every Girl by Nasreen Anjum Bhatti)

(Translated by Yasmeen Hameed)


give me

fertile shore

your hand

Warm and golden


give me

hope and water

(Mehran-give me by Sarwat Hussain)

(Translated by Frances W Pritchett and Asif Aslam Farrukhi)

Near the sea

in a building


except for me

and the neighbour's dog

no one comes alone

I am learning a new language

to converse with myself

(Learning a new language by Afzal Ahmad Sayid)

(Translated by Frances W Pritchett and Asif Aslam Farrukhi)

Prose Poem in Urdu has encompasses free eternal perspective of emotions and feelings, associational rhythm, flow and a new system and style of the inner construction and formation of poetic lines. It completely has replaced old rhythms and rhymes. Poets dedicated to verse libre do not ignore traditional and prevalent metres