Prose poem 2 - By Professor Dr. Saadat Saeed

Dr Saadat Saeed
(Urdu chair Ankara University)

Prose poets in Urdu are still hankering after the traditional readership. They are struggling for their proper recognition. But their personal levels of consciousness do not allow them to come down from their high pedestals.
They do not want to communicate with other people on the cost of their precious styles and notions. Readers blame them of becoming artificial and ambiguous. Traditional critics say that these poets are writing prose poems because they cannot write poetry in metre and traditional rhythms. Their automatism is not natural. They lack real poetic vision. Their imagination is borrowed. Prose poets consciously ignore musical connotations and expressions. It is difficult to read a prose poem even in a free rhythm.
This form of poetry does not bother about the principals and methods, which gather extensive thoughts in essential possible expression. The critics endorsing classical values state that Prose poem seems the product of the poets who lack aesthetic taste and intuition. Their command on language is doubtful. Another unavoidable charge by these critics on them is their undue interest in emotionalism and romanticism.

There was a period in the history of Urdu poetry when such blames and charges forced N M Raashid, Mira Jee and many other poets and critics to write serious articles about the validity of Free verse. Now Iftikhar Jalib, Mubarik Ahmad, Qamar Jameel, Anis Nagi, Tabussum Kashmiri, Abdur Rashed, Rias Frogh, Kishwar Naheed and few other poets and critics, appreciating new tendencies of writing prose poetry are formulating there opinions about the requirements and formative principals of prose poem. When we analyze the opinions formulated by the anti prose poem group we found them illogical and malapropos. These critics seem unaware of the process of evolution in literary history and aesthetics.

Prose poem in Urdu seems to be fully acquainted with new contemporary situations, socio-political requirements and current aesthetic taste. Prose poets through their fascinating symbols, metaphors are giving new meaning to old passions and prevalent words. Their metaphors bring into limelight the subjective emptiness of an individual and truths hidden behind the iron curtain of modern politics and several types of socio-cultural world orders.
We cannot deny the fact that certain poets do have the tendencies of being ambiguous, incoherent, and enigmatic in their poems. But they have their own justifications in this respect. They say ambiguity is a relative issue. It is possible to achieve the level of deep philosophical perception even by using personal metaphors in expressing an individuals pure experiences and explaining unacquainted psychological situations. Mira Jee has declared that ambiguity is a relative concept. If readers lack philosophical sublimation they wont be able to grasp poems charged with pure reflective depths. The readers who follow traditional path of understanding poetry can complain
against ambiguities and complexities involved in the purest form of pure poetry. Their long association with the expression used in traditional Ghazal proves to be a great hurdle in the process of understanding prose poem.

It is in the air that the introduction of prose poem in Urdu can uproot traditional concepts and routine subjects from the terra firma of Urdu poetry. Prose poets are trying to incorporate in their poems new scientific, philosophical, psychological, and cultural themes. They are bringing close poetry and ordinary language. Prose poem has the possibility of implanting new expressions and natural situations in the fields of poetry.