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Life, Person, Poetry

Raza Imam

Edited by Farooq Argali
Farid Book Depot Pvt.Ltd. New Delhi, 2007, pp. 240, Rs. 100.00

Edited by Jayanti Alam and Sohail Hashmi
Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT). New Delhi, 2010, pp.178, Rs. 200.00


Kuliyat-e-Makhdoom Mohiuddin (Complete Works of Makhdoom Mohiuddin) is very useful not only for those who want to enjoy and understand Makhdooms poetry but also to those who would like to get an idea of the whole gamut of the Progressive Writers Movement. Along with all the poems published in earlier collections of Makhdooms poetry, i.e., Surkh Savera (The Red Dawn), Gul-e-Tar (The Fresh Flower) and Bisaat-Rakhs (The Dance Floor), it also carries information about Makhdooms life and personality, his views on poetic creation as well as critical articles about his poetry.   One of the pieces dealing with Makhdooms life and personality provides important dates and events in his life. Another, a biographical sketch, gives glimpses of his domestic life, which is rather irrelevant to his poetry but throws light on his honesty and integrity as a politician in spite of his strained financial circumstances. A third piece, an impressionistic write-up by Professor Zeenat Sajida, brings out Makhdooms personal charm and magnetism. Besides these, there is also an index by Maulana Bux Ansari that gives the dates of the publication of Makhdooms poems in various journals and collections.   Of the three critical essays, one is a short piece by Raj Bahadur Gour. It was written as a foreword to the second edition of Bisaat-e-Rakhs. Makhdoom, according to him, was not only a top-notch poet but also a top-notch trade union and communist leader. The other two articles are by Mohammad Firoz and Professor Ehtisham Husain. Firoz discusses Makhdoom both as a romantic and a rebel. He emphasizes the sense of innocence in Makhdooms early love poems, the gradual transition from romanticism to revolutionary content and the song like quality of some of his manifestly political poems. He ends his article by quoting Dr Mohammad Hasan, Makhdoom passed through the ups and downs of practical politics but, instead of investing romanticism with the meaning and bold manner of new realism, [he] molded even the varied experiences of political life into a romantic expression. Ehtisham Husain bases his evaluation of Makhdooms poetry on the premise that ideology does not hamper a poet or writer; on the contrary, it often endows him with the power of expression. In his opinion, Makhdooms early poems, despite some distinctive features, are like the poems of any other young poetcentered on the poets self and its moods. It was only after Makhdoom became politically and socially aware ...

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