Poetry has always been my first love, ever since I studied the works of the famous international poets at school. I am originally from Pakistan—an area rich in culture and literature—and belong to a literary family myself. I have been dabbling in limericks and poetry since childhood, and have won prizes in literary competitions, as well as the first prize in an international short story writing contest.
Life has dealt me some hard knocks, and poetry provides an outlet for the rainbow of my emotions. I do not wish to sound pompous or pedantic, but I feel that in the fast-changing landscape of the world, traditional values are being pushed into the background, by those who are chasing the superficial mirage of materialism.
Poetry to me, is a reflection of the emotional moods of our lives. Along with Dr. Iqbal and Rumi, the famous Persian poet, Sa’di has been a source of guidance and inspiration to me. In his “Bouquet of Flowers,” he says:
“If you, the Truth always speak,
And Righteousness, you ever seek,
This wealth will certainly help you
It will be your companion true.”
Some of my poems are outpourings of nostalgia for my homeland, written when I lived abroad, as in Rumi’s Exordium on “The Lament of the Reed,” in which he says:
“Hearken to this Reed forlorn,
Breathing, even though ‘twas torn,
From its rushy bed, a strain,
Of impassioned love and pain.”
I started by writing these poems, more as a source of guidance for my children, and grandchildren, so that they could open the book, and find the message they might be looking for, or to get the right perspective on values. As I wrote, my verses seemed to evolve into a politically correct universal message. Life does not come with an instruction manual, but I hope that this book will be able to help the younger generation, in particular, even in the smallest way, to acquire a spiritual perception of life.
Four new poems have been added in this edition, of which two are about the pandemic that has recently swept our world.