Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (1935-2020), was born on this day in 1935 in Azamgarh, present-day Uttar Pradeshhe. He was an Indian Urdu language poet, author and theorist. He is known for bringing modernism to Urdu literature. He developed new models of literary appreciation combining western principles of literary criticism and applied them to Urdu literature. Some of his notable works included Sher-e-Shor Angrez (1996), Ka’i Chand The Sar-e Asman (2006), The Mirror of Beauty (2013), and The Sun that Rose from the Earth (2014). He was also the editor and publisher of the Urdu literary magazine Shabkhoon.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Maharana Pratap College in Gorakhpur, and his Master of Arts (MA) degree in English literature from Allahabad University in 1955. He pursued a doctorate in English symbolism and French literature with the poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan as his supervisor, but dropped out after a disagreement with Bachchan. Faruqi began his writing career in 1960. He founded the Urdu literary magazine Shabkhoon in 1966, and was its editor and publisher for more than four decades.

Faruqi received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour in 2009. He was also a recipient of the Saraswati Samman, an Indian literary award, for his work Sher-e-Shor Angrez in 1996, and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1986 for Tanqidi Afqar.

Sadly he died on 25 December 2020 in Allahabad due to complications from COVID-19, but he has left us with some beautiful poetry:

Below the handwritten Urdu text by Faruqi 1980

handwritten Urdu text by the author, early 1980’s (first poem in ganj-e so;xtah)

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