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Militancy, Violence Shape Pakistani Poet's Work

  • Behroz Khan

Farid Gul's latest poem is "Paris Hilton vs. the Poor Poet" (courtesy of Farid Gul)

Farid Gul's latest poem is "Paris Hilton vs. the Poor Poet" (courtesy of Farid Gul)

Pakistani poet Farid Gul was born in the rugged mountains of Pakistan’s volatile border region, but his latest work does not dwell on the violence wracking his homeland.

In this part of his satirical poem, “Paris Hilton vs. the Poor Poet,” Gul writes of the fascination that many Pakistanis have for celebrity gossip:

“Dreaming for peace,

aspiring for peace- what for? What for?

When what Victoria Beckham’s wears,

Means much to the public,

Then what a poet writes!

“So shut up your mouth utopian poet,

And read latest celebs’ gossips online for free.

Tis about Paris Hilton’s sexy lingerie” writes Gul in his debut book written in the English language.

In a recent interview with VOA Deewa he says like every poet and writer his thoughts are influenced by what is happening in his surroundings.

"Militancy and violence changed my life and thoughts prompting me to share the story of my people with the rest of the world”, Gul said.

“Paris Hilton vs. the Poor Poet” is a meditation on the plight of the Pashtun people. But Gul says many young people in the area tune out the bad news and would rather hear about the spicy news of celebrities like Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham and others, just like their counterparts in the West.

The 30-year-old Gul won scholarships as a young man to study youth justice and criminality. He overcame a tumultuous family history of family feuds with relatives that forced his family to leave their rural home in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) and move to Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Gul says violence permeated his early life.

“I was very concerned about the safety of my father and his means of income since childhood. I would make sure that my father carries his gun whenever he was out from home,” Gul told VOA Deewa.

The enmity with close relatives started over the ownership of a piece of land leading to the murder of his uncle and ultimately to the revenge killing of the murderer.

“I am still worried about the life of my father and us all,” says Gul, who is in favor of surrendering land or paying for it to put an end to the senseless violence.

Poetess and editor of a local magazine called Sahar (Morning) Azra Nafees Yousafzai says Farid Gul is a modern poet who has beautifully portrayed the plight of Pashtuns and their ongoing suffering.

“Gul’s poetry is a combination of romanticism, patriotism, idealism and humanism. He plays beautifully with such emotions and carries the meaning to the readers’ mind effortlessly. That is the success of the brilliant poet,” she said.

About the response his poetry book received, Gul said it is extremely positive and encouraging.

“The strange part is that readers remember lines from some of my poems that I could not remember myself," he said. "It thrilled my poetic ego.”

About his ideas, personality and work, Gul describes himself in these words.

“I am a voice of peace and love. I am a love bird, the soul and spirit for love and longing. I am the music of silence, the art of perfection, the mellowed soul. I am the last treasure, the cry of humanity, the fire and tenderness of war years.”

Paris Hilton VS The Poor Poet !

Alas, poor Poets!
The dreamers
The depressed
The downtrodden
Often Pessimist creatures
Only looking one side of the picture
In Avoidance
Of Reality
In Pursuance of IDEALISM
When nothing called IDEAL exists
Not even in the GIANT universe
Feeling heartache
Failure in love
No future of a happy life
CONTENTED with misery, distrust and infidelity
Remains infidel to their own existence
And their poems?
Alas! No readers
No patronage
The market replaced by the CELEBS’ gossips
The public Admiring the idiots
The deviants
Violent alcoholics.
The silly becomes the hero, the IDIOT becomes the legend.
AH! Poetry doesn’t improve
Your status within your immediate family, either
Let alone the society.
Taking language
In the very fullest
Most imaginative
Most colourful
Exuberant Art form of grim pleasures
To the other planet
Landing on Mars
Touching Jupiter
Kissing the Rainbow
Walking on clouds
DREAMING for peace
Aspiring for PEACE- what for? what for?
When what Victoria Beckham’s wears
Means much to the public
Than what a poet writes!
So shut up your mouth utopian poet
And read latest celebs’ gossips online for free.
Tis about Paris Hilton’s sexy lingerie.