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Islamabad – To express solidarity with tsunami-hit Japanese people and to pay rich tribute to the Haiku master of Japan, Pakistani poets gathered in Islamabad today at ‘Haiku Mushaira’. Iftikhar Arif, chairman of Pakistan Academy of Letters presided over the ‘Haiku Mushaira-Issa Evening’ which was organized by the Embassy of Japan in cooperation with Pakistan Haiku Society, National Art Gallery, National University of Modern Languages (NUML) and National University of Science and Technology.
Kobayashi Issa was one of Japan’s most prolific poets who left over twenty thousand one-breath poems called Haiku. Rafique Sandelvi, Pakistan’s first M. Phil in Haiku shed light on Issa’s life. “Kobayashi Issa is simply known as Issa, a pen name meaning ‘cup of tea’. To the surprise of many Pakistanis, the Haiku master also suffered financial as well as social crisis.”
12 renowned Pakistani Haiku poets and 4 amateurs recited two Urdu translations of the original Haiku poems composed by Issa and three of their own compositions dedicated to the Japanese vistims. A Pakistani poet reflected the feelings of Pakistanis through his haiku poem for the Japanese victims of tsunami in these words: “while Japanese are in trouble, all Pakistanis share the grief of the Japanese people.”
Among the participants were Sultan Sikandar, Sarfaraz Zahid, Khaliq-ur-rehman, Prof. Shahab Safdar, Ghazanfar Hashmi, Manzar Naqvi, Naseem Ishaq, Ali Muhammad Farshi and Ali Akbar Abaad. While Sajjal Afzal, Sundus Munawar, Ali Muhammad Rathore and Mehreen were the participating students from NUML.
Iftikhar Arif greatly appreciated the contribution of the emerging Pakistani Haiku poets.
Qayyum Tahir of Pakistan Haiku Society explained the significance of Haiku in Urdu poetry while sharing the common elements of Urdu Ghazal and Japanese Haiku.
Haiku poetry reminds Pakistanis of its own the traditional pattern of poetry and many poets in Pakistan today practice this compact yet profound form of poetry. Haiku poetry dates back to the 17th century Japan and it is the most precise poetry. Haiku is defined as an unrhymed verse, written in 5-7-5 syllabic form, usually in three lines. Its subjects are predominantly nature and life experiences.