When it comes to female poets of Pakistan, the names of many senior and contemporary poets come to one’s mind. Ada Jafri is one such name. Her original is Aziz Jahan. She started writing as Ada Badayuni but after her marriage, she changed her name to Ada Jafri. She is no doubt the first female poet from Pakistan who became well known in a male-dominated poetry world. Parveen Shakir was one of the most famous female Urdu poetesses of all times. Her fantasy and romantic style of lyrics makes her work worth-reading over and over. Parveen Shakir is one of those legendary female Urdu poetesses who began writing poetry during their early childhood. Her famous book Khushbu earned immense recognition and popularity worldwide. Shakir has subsequently written other volumes including Sad-Barg, Khud Kalami, Inkaar and Kaf-e-Aina. That’s why Shakir was awarded with one of Pakistan’s biggest honours, the Pride of Performance at a young age for her excellent contribution to Urdu poetry. She portrayed issues related to women diligently and gave the message of hope to women. She was the poetess of present and future. She beautifully highlighted our social attitudes and perceptions in her poetry. She was one of those female poets who could be regarded as pioneers in defying tradition by expressing “a woman’s experience” in Urdu poetry. Shakir’s poetry touched the hearts of the youth. For most of us, Kishwar Naheed is a woman who has remained continuously engaged in writing for more than 40 years and producing more than 40 books. She has been participating in social, cultural and political movements in one way or another for about 50 years. She was among the earlier broadcasters of Radio Pakistan. When the country experimented with telecasting she was a part of it, and when the great Indo-Pak Music Conference was held in Lahore, she was there. Every event of import, every significant development, you name it, and KN knows the inside story of just everything that happened in Pakistan, because she has personally experienced it all. Other female poetesses also emerged like Fatima Hassan, Fahmida Riaz, Yasmin Hameed, Bushra Ejaz, Farrukh Zohra Gilani, Nahid Qamar, Nahid Qasmi, Neelima Sarwar, Parveen Fana Syed, Sara Shagufta, Shabnam Shakeel, Zehra Nigah, Siddiqa Begum, Yasmin Habib, Noshi Gilani, Shahnaz Parveen Sehr and Hameeda Shaheen etc. lately. There are other names in this list of Pakistani poets that this reviewer has not been able to mention. In this galaxy of female poets, one new name is Farzana Aqib, more known for her modern outfit and as a wife of cricketer Aqib Javed. Not many knew of her art of writing poetry until her book first appeared. Her first ghazal has an astonishing couplet that says, ‘I shall love my beloved without any end and my beloved would in return cause havoc in my life with endless tyranny.’ The state of her mind is wavering all the time with intense love She writes romantic poetry. This reviewer shall quote a couplet of her ghazal from the title of her book Muhhabbat Hamsafar Rakhna. It reads “Jo Us Se Pyar Karna Tau Ibadat Ki Tarha Karna / Jo Us Ka Zikr Karna Tau Hamesha Bawuzoo Karna’. The book under review is a mixture of ghazals and nazms. Her first ghazal has an astonishing couplet that says “Main Us Se Pyar Karun Aur Be-Kanar Karun / Woh Mujh Pe Zulm Kare Aur Be-hisaab Kare’ (I shall love my beloved without any end and my beloved would in return cause havoc in my life with endless tyranny). The state of her mind is wavering all the time with intense love. She says, “Kabhi Us Ki Kitabain Us Ke Kaprre Sab Jala Dena / Kabhi Us Ke Khutoot Ke Sare Tukrre Dhoondte Rehna” (Sometimes I would destroy his books and other belongings whereas other times I would even start looking for the torn leafs of his letters). Farzana Aqib takes a break from ghazal and writes two beautiful poems titled ‘Lamha-e-Wasl’ (the moment of unification) and ‘Munh Dikhai’ (gift of seeing beloved’s face). The latter expresses the emotions behind seeing her husband’s face for the first time after entering the bridal suite. The first kiss is described poetically through the lines, “Jo Pehli Raat Ka Tofa Tha / Tere Shirin Labon Se Utra Tha / Jism Ke Makhmaleen Andhairon Se / Ab Main Chah Kar Bhi Koi Karwahat / Apne Honton Se Chakh Nahi Sakti’ (The first night’s gift was from your sweet lips. I shall not be able to taste any bitterness oozing from the darkness of my velvety body ever) The writer is an award-winning musician and author. He Tweets at @amjadparvez and can be reached at [email protected] Published in Daily Times, July 15th , 2017.