RE - Eminent writers and intellectuals said Taufiq Rafat has introduced creative writing in English besides making his utmost efforts for establishing pure Pakistani Idiom in English poetry.
They were addressing a book launching ceremony of 'Half Moon by a renowned Pakistani English poet Taufiq Rafat at Alhamra.
They also termed the legendry Taufiq as the great Ezra Pound of literature.
The ceremony was attended by a large number of journalists, writers, intellectuals, critics, poets and educationists. Deputy Managing Director Nawa-i-Waqt Group Ms Rameeza Nizami and Editor The Nation Dr Shireen Mazari also graced the occasion.
While addressing the ceremony organised by Rafat Foundation. Seerat Rafat, son of Taufiq Rafat, said on the occasion the great poet always talked on all forums with a sense of responsibility.
He said the sole purpose of Rafat Foundation was to contribute in the field of literature by publishing rare literary pieces and by revealing the hidden aspects of life discussed in the writings of Taufiq Rafat.
An intellectual, Zia Mohyeddin appreciated the poet saying it was unfair to Taufiq as since his death many literary figures had talked about how he had strived to create a Pakistani Idiom. What Taufiq strove to achieve was a better and larger understanding of the English versification. He worked hard and his grasp of the language improved enormously as the years went by and he made sure that the common word was exact without vulgarity, Mohyeddin added.
Whatever is meant by Taufiqs 'Pakistani idiom, has nothing to do with the use of words as Sheesham, Baithak, Koel and Gul. He himself pointed out that 'idiom was not created by the use of Urdu words, Zia further said. Its roots are much deeper and it reflects our responses to situations and to our sensibilities, our history and our heritage, Zia commented.
Most of his poems about nature describe the incongruity of life. He does it without malice or bitterness. In some of his last few poems there is a rueful confession about his inability to show tenderness: To those I really love/I dont know how to show affection.
Zia also recited his poetry:
Only when I am alone
As now, hands stroke invisible hair,
Endearments break in flood.
An unbelievably modest man, Taufiq, once declared, I am just an ordinary person who is trying to say things that mean something to him. But I do not think I have done it in any different or effective way. It brings a lump to my throat for he created some exquisite poetry. Zia recited some of his marvellous poems, which included: Soil, The People, Raindrops, Rain, Seasons, Pigeons, Lights, Eid, Mound, Ramazan, Mango Trees, Grass, Loneliness, Family, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.
During the ceremony a documentary film regarding the comments sent by renowned writer Kaleem Umar were also shown. In his comments Kaleem Umar said Taufiq was a poet of the language, who had a complete control over description of his thoughts and feelings and often informed him about the craft of poetry.
According to Taufiq, he added, the job of a poet was to take an ordinary thing and raise it to a level of myth. Recalling his memories, he said no doubt Tafuiq had poor memory. Due his weak memory Taufiq used to credit his to known English poets and often I had to make him realise that the couplets associated with English poets in fact belonged to him, Kaleem added.
Close friend of Taufiq Fafat, Imran Aslam said on the occasion Rafat was not to be ignored like other indigenous authors. The Master Poet, Rafat, was like a second Ezra Pound, he added.
Renowned critic Khaled Ahmad said Taufiq could not be judged so easily mere by his poetry as he always avoided the awkward display of images. He said his nostalgia is not based on the values, which disappear after a short while of their creation.
A renowned writer and senior bureaucrat, M Athar Tahir said Taufiq was a creative writer and real carpenter of nature as well. The philanthropic poet was a great humanitarian who always loved nature and revealed various aspects of life.
'Half Moon is a painted simple life, which contains the fabric of relationship - pain of complexities of life and the stages of living involved in it. He added the rational-sentimental poet was enthusiastic about the evaluation of human spirit. His poems produced in 1978 are the masterpieces of literature as these are the whispers of inward feelings.
Taufiqs disciple and editor of a local journal, Mehwish Amin, said he was against the bifurcation of state and he always stressed upon the unity of Pakistani nation.
Renowned journalist Najam Sethi said the poet firstly collected ideas and then constructed poems. I have profound experience of translating his poetry in Urdu, he added. Taufiq often gave him a couplet of Poran Bhagat and urged him to translate it in Urdu.
Monson always haunt me whenever I remember Tafuiq, the lover of beauty and nature, he recalled.
An NGO director and educationist Nelam Hussain said on the occasion she knew him before she met Rafat.
Taufiq intended to change this ordinary world into a magical world - having peace and calmness - like his nature, she added.