Both Shahid and Shaheed, Witness and Martyr: A Study of Agha Shahid Ali’s The Country Without a Post Office

Liyaqat Nazir

Abstract


: Agha Shahid Ali was born in New Delhi, India, on February 4,1949 he grew up in Kashmir, returned Delhi to complete his M.A in the Delhi University. He authored several collections of poetry, including Rooms Are Never Finished (2001), The Country Without a Post Office (1997). The Beloved Witness: Selected poems (1992). A Nostalgist’s Map Of America (1991), A Walk Through the Yellow Pages (1987), The Half Inch Himalyaas (1987). In Memory to Begum Akhter and Other poems (1979), Bone and Sculpture (1972). He was the author of T.S Eliot as editor (1986), translator of The Rebel’s Silhouette: selected poems by Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1992) and editor of revisiting disunities: real Ghazal in English (2000).Shahid is known particularly for his dexterous allusions to European, Urdu, Arabic and Persian literary traditions, his poetry collections revolve around both thematic and cultural poles.The Country Without a Post Officewhich is under consideration in this paper is a look on Kashmir both topical and metaphysical and in equal parts auto- biography, current history and poetry. The very title of the volume, The Country Without a Post Office is suggestive of the complete and all-pervasive sense of loss, anger with a delicate political undertone of protest against his physical separation from the imagined homeland juxtaposed with the colonization of the land. As the Post office symbolizes a particular address and an identity of a specific person who lives in a country but here for Shahid once the absence of it means an eclipse of his existence from the world, such a situation becomes unbearable for the poet and therefore laments his despair throughout the narratives of the poem. 


Keywords


Agha Shahid Ali, poetry

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References


King, Bruce. “Agha Shahid Ali’s Tricultural Nostalgia.” Journal of South Asian Literature

Carol Muske, “Poet’s Corner”, Tributes (Kashmir: Agha Shahid Ali Foundation, 2002)23.

Rushdie, Salman. “Imaginary Homelands.” Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991.London: Granta, 1991.Print

Ali, Agha Shahid. The Country Without a Post Office. Delhi, Ravi Dayal Publishers.2000.

Prof. Syed Habib, “God loves Ali, the Artist, Sensor Feb. 2002-4.

Gosh, Amitava. “The Ghat of the Only World.” 2002. Amitava Gosh.com.


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