Haiku in Pakistan

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Haiku in Pakistan

crescent & the star
over my town
thinking of Pakistan

Manu Kant, 2009


Haiku International (Karachi)

Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui


....................... Haiku Poets from Pakistan

Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui

Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui was born on December 15, 1964, at Karachi, Pakistan. He is a multi-lingual writer, poet and journalist. He is the foremost and only Pakistani poet whose two English poems have been included in 3 world anthologies, published from USA, in 1992, 1994 and 2002 and six English Haiku poems included in world anthology, 'Wild Flowers, New Leaves', published by the World Haiku Club, UK in 2001.

He is the only Pakistani poet who was invited to the World Haiku Festival in August, 2000. His name was recommended by world-renowned, US poet and scholar, Bill Higginson. One of his English Haiku was not only included in the World Haiku Contest of Japan, by ASAHI, in 2001, but also mentioned as the feature Haiku, on a US website, www.earthlanguage.org, with Japanese translation.

Further, to his credit, he has authored/compiled and edited several books, including others, besides editing and publishing 'Haiku International', the premier and only multi-lingual Haiku journal of South Asia, since 1998. He had served the pre-eminent international, English language Hockey magazine of Pakistan, 'Pakistan Hockey' as de-facto editor, for two years, i.e. 1990-1992.

As free-lance television writer/researcher, he has the privilege of standing as 'A' category writer, ever since he joined Pakistan Television in 1993- very few writers are there in the history of national hook-up, who earned this laurel purely on the basis of merit. He has scripted several plays, research-oriented programmes, documentaries, children programmes, social roundups, for various channels, besides assisting a senior in the historic documentary, 'PTV ka safar' (Journey of PTV-30 years), in 1994. He has contributed to some international events, in the capacity of Quiz compiler and judge, as well.

Sohail started his broadcasting career as a radio talker, in 2004 by delivering his own research-based speeches, in 30 episodes, aired on daily basis, in the Holy Ramadan, by the national FM channel, FM-101. The programme, 'Raushni ke Dareechay' was re-broadcast the following year, as a result of superb feedback from the audience.
© Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui / spaces.live.com


high tide in river
the ice of my heart melts down
the mountain starts weeping

Japanese translation:

川満ち 心氷解 山が泣く

直訳: 川面が盛り上がり、私の心を閉ざした氷は溶けてゆく。

Look at the Earthlanguage Translation HERE:
© earthlanguage.org: Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui


Haiku - capturing beauty crisply

Read the full article here please:
By Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui

Barrister Syed Hasan Abid Jafri was the one who introduced haiku to Urdu. He wrote an article, “Japani shairi par eik nazar” (A random look at Japanese poetry) for Nigar (Lucknow) in December 1922. For over a decade there was a meaningless silence on the subject. In 1936, Saaqi, another esteemed literary journal, launched a ‘Japan number’. The translators of Japanese poetry included Aziz Tamannai, Fazle Haque Qureshi and Ali Zaheer. Noorul Hasan Barlas, who had lived in Japan for a long time, played a vital role in providing material for this issue.

A wave of translations attracted enthusiasts from 1938 to 1980s. Among the most prominent names were Hameed Nizami, Meeraji, Zafar Iqbal, Kaleemuddin Ahmed, Abdul Aziz Khalid, Qazi Saleem, Tasadduq Husain Khalid, Dr Muhammad Amin, Mohsin Bhopali and Dr Pervaiz Pervazi.

Who was the pioneer in original Urdu haiku writing? The answer to this question is shrouded in mystery. Afaque Siddiqui claims to have been the first, as he wrote haikus as early as 1970. Qazi Saleem’s verses (1966) were not accepted true haiku, on technical grounds. But the famous Urdu poet Himayat Ali Shair has quoted an original haiku of Meeraji, composed some time back in the 1940s or 1950s.

In 1960, the Sindhi language embraced this foreign genre through some translations rendered by Dr Tanveer Abbasi. This endeavour opened the floodgate of original Sindhi three-liners. A friend of Tanveer and a popular Urdu poet, Mohsin Bhopali, translated some of his haiku into Urdu in 1963.

In the 1970s, Dr Muhammad Amin, a penman from Multan, visited Japan and started writing original Urdu three-liners and published his maiden anthology, Haiku in 1980. Three years later, in 1983 the first Urdu haiku mushaira was held under the auspices of the Japan Cultural Centre in Karachi. The Centre also organized Urdu haiku recitals, under the guidelines and coordination of Professor Dr Syed Abul Khair Kashfi. Soon the new genre became popular in the national language, as well as regional languages and dialects. Some fifty Urdu anthologies and many collections in regional languages have so far appeared. However, there is no authentic bibliography of collections.

In 1998, I launched a multilingual haiku journal of South Asia, Haiku International. The Karachi-based journal has brought out seven issues, including four special numbers on Pakistani haiku masters, namely, Mohsin Bhopali, Wazahat Naseem, Iqbal Haider and Professor Muhammad Rais Alvi. Of these, Iqbal Haider has received the title of “Ambassador of haiku” from the Japanese Consul General for excellence in the field.


Mohsin Bhopali

“Bhopali’s favourite style of poetry was the Haiku style. He was an expert in this technique and even made a big name through this art.”

Poet Zakia Ghazal described Bhopali as the nucleus of Pakistani literature. “He wrote on every issue, and always made it a point to participate in all the functions. "
© www.dailytimes.com.pk


Haiku - a cultural bridge between
Japan and Pakistan

March 31, 2008

A Japanese form of poetry, Haiku, has gained immense popularity in Pakistan over last few decades. Many poets in Pakistan today practice this compact yet profound and evocative form that gives an objective, suggestive, pithy and fleeting picture of its subject.
Haiku is a short verse of 17 syllables in three metrical sections of 5-7-5 syllables.
© rediff.com / VIDEO

More Haiku Books from the rediff press


Haiku in Urdu

From 1938 to 1980's, the most prominent Haiku enthusiasts were Hameed Nizami, Meeraji, Zafar Iqbal, Kaleemuddin Ahmed, Abdul Aziz Khalid, Qazi Saleem, Tasadduq Husain Khalid, Dr Muhammad Amin and Mohsin Bhopali. In the 1970s, Dr Muhammad Amin, from Multan, visited Japan and started writing original Urdu three-liners and published his anthology, Haiku in 1980. Three years later, in 1983 the first Urdu Haiku mushaira was organized by the Japan Cultural Center in Karachi. Soon the new genre became popular in Urdu. Some fifty Urdu anthologies and many collections have so far been published.
© mehraab.com/


Haiku Mushaira

Urdu Haiku poetry captivated a large audience at a local hotel here on Saturday March 2, 2002. Pakistan-Japan Friendship Fest began with a Haiku Mushaira, in which over 20 famous poets from the twin cities participated. The Embassy of Japan in collaboration organized the mushaira with the Pakistan Japan Cultural Association Islamabad, Pakistan Haiku Society and Pakistan National Council of the Arts. The Chairman, Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL), Iftikhar Arif was the chief guest and Zia Jalandhri presided over the mushaira.

Speaking on the occasion, Tamotsu Shinotsuka from embassy of Japan lauded Urdu. He said that Iqbal, Ghalib and Faiz were the great poets of their era. Tamotsu Shinotsuka expressed his delight over the fact that Haiku, the Japanese style of poetry was gaining popularity in Pakistan and other countries of the world.

The poets who participated in the mushaira included, Abid Sial, Akhtar Hoshiyarpuri, Ali Muhammad Farshi, Amin Rahat Chughtai, Anwaar Feroz, Anwar Fitrat, Asghar Abid, Ayesha Malik, Azra Asghar, Daud Rizwan, Ghazanfar Hashmi, Khawar Eijaz, Mehmooda Ghazia, Naveed Jamil, Parveen Tahir, Qayyum Tahir, Rafiq Sandhelvi, Rashid Hameed, Saeed Ahmad, Sharf-ud-Din Sahmi, and Shaukat Mehdi.

Each poet recited three translations from the Haiku poetry written by Japanese poets and five of their own compositions. The officials of Japan embassy, diplomats and a large number of writers, poets and others from the twin cities, attended the function.
© mehraab.com/






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Anonymous said...

Well, I've come across this link just now. Glad to see few of my works, excerpted and mentioned. May submit some material exclusively for your link ASAP.
Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui,
Founding editor/Publisher,
Haiku International,
Karachi, Pakistan

Gabi Greve said...

Dear Mr. Siddiqui,
I am glad you commented, I could love to have some contributions by you.
I have tried to reach you before, but it did not work out!

Thank you very much in advance!

Submit your work HERE !

Anonymous said...

Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui, founding editor of Haiku International (HI) is a prolific writer of haikus in both English and Urdu. The only poet to have his English Haikus included in the international anthology called `Wild Flowers, New Leaves', which has Haikus in English by 225 poets from across the globe.

Besides, he is the only Pakistani poet whose free verses have been included in the US-based world anthologies, in 1992, 1993 and 2002.

Siddiqui also pointed out that he is the only Urdu poet who had attended the world Haiku contest of Asahi Shambon, Japan and whose English Haikus have been mentioned and discussed on several websites, as feature Haiku or a representative of Pakistan..."

here the article

and other links: