News / Arts & Entertainment

    Militancy, Violence Shape Pakistani Poet's Work

    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)
    Behroz Khan
    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
    Irresponsible
    Senseless
    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
    Spirited
    Vivacious
    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.

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