LAHORE – The 24th death anniversary of noted poetess Parveen Shakir is being observed today.
Parveen Shakir, 42, died in a road accident on December 26, 1994. She was born on November 24, 1952, in Karachi. She was an acclaimed Urdu poetess, teacher, and a civil servant.
She did her Masters in English Literature and Linguistics from Karachi University. She was a professor at Karachi University and Trinity College, Connecticut, USA, for 9 years before joining the Civil Service, where she served in the customs department.
In 1986, she was appointed a second secretary, CBR in Islamabad. In 1990, she taught at Trinity College, Connecticut, USA, and then did her Masters in public administration at Harvard University in 1991.
Shakir’s poetry was a breath of fresh air in Urdu poetry. She used the first person feminine pronoun, which is rarely used in Urdu poetry even by female poets. The feminine perspective of love and the associated social problems were her theme.
Critics compare her poetry to that of Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad. Her first book, Khushboo, won the Adamjee Award. Later she was awarded the Pride of Performance.
She was one of those female poets who could be regarded as pioneers in defying tradition by expressing the “female experience” in Urdu poetry. Her work was often based on romanticism, exploring the concepts of love, beauty, and their contradictions, and heavily integrated the use of metaphors, similes, and personifications.