Book review: Ma’ey


Ma’ey (‘I’) is poet Anjum Salimi’s latest verse collection comprising ghazal. It is dedicated to the renowned film-maker and poet Gulzar.

Saleemi is an original but innovative versifier of Urdu and Punjabi. His sharp aesthetic sensibility coupled with an innate predilection for perfection distinguishes him amongst his literary peers. His ghazal has a rich textual diversity ranging from self-exploration to a quest for the unattainable. His ingenuity as a prosodist finds ample expression in the structural patterns of his verse. Saleemi’s poetic phraseology tends to enclose a variety of words like hijr, hijrat, parinday, jism, khamoshi, deewar, darwaza, imkan, tamasha, khwab, mazdoor, diya, ghilaf, baiswa, shaher, anjum, rukhsat, hadaf, and khabar etc. that suggest meanings not conventionally associated with ghazal.

In the preamble to the present work, he proclaims his poetic manifesto in the context of its title Ma’ey. He puts across an existential question to himself: What am ‘I’ in the line of Baba Bulleh Shah’s Keeh JanaN ma’ey Kaun? The question perplexes him; he would brood over it ad infinitum until he is enabled to partly discover himself in his thought, feeling and the written word i.e., his verse. The process leads to an ambivalent sensation of gloom and mirth which constitute the texture of his verse.



Anjum Saleemi

Publisher: Dast Khat, Chaudhry Tower,

Chiniot Bazaar, Faisalabad

Pages: 176; Price: Rs.250/-


Comments are closed.