Faiz Ahmad Faiz (Punjabi, Urdu: فیض احمد فیض , born 13 February 1911 – 20 November 1984) MBE, NI, Lenin Peace Prize was an influential leftwing intellectual, revolutionary poet, and one of the most highly-regarded poets of the Urdu language, having been nominated four times for the Nobel Prize for literature. Faiz also wrote poetry in the Punjabi language. A notable member of theProgressive Writers’ Movement (PWM), Faiz was an avowed Marxist, for which he received the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union in 1962.
Faiz was identified as an opponent of the Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan‘s government in the Rawalpindi conspiracy case, along with the left-wing military sponsor Major-General Akbar Khan. The Military police arrested Faiz as a result, held to trial by its JAG branch, and given a long sentence. These were commuted after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan in 1951.
His work remains influential in Pakistan literature and arts. Faiz’s literary work was posthumously publicly honoured when thePakistan Government conferred upon him the nation’s highest civil award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz, in 1990.
Major literary works
- Naqsh-e-Faryadi (1943)
- Dast-e-Saba (1952)
- Zindan-Nama (1956)
- Dast-e-Tah-e-Sung (1965)
- Mere Dil Mere Musafir
- Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s poetry has been translated into many languages, including English and Russian. A Balochi poet, Mir Gul Khan Nasir, who was also a friend of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, translated his book Sar-e-Wadi-e-Seena into Balochi with the title Seenai Keechag aa. Gul Khan‘s translation was written while he was in jail during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto‘s regime for opposing the government’s policies. It was only published in 1980, after Zia-ul-Haq toppled Bhutto’s government and freed all the political prisoners of his (Bhutto’s) regime. Victor Kiernan, British Marxist historian translated Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s works into English, and several other translations of whole or part of his work into English have also been made by others; a transliteration in Punjabi was made by Mohinder Singh.Faiz Ahmad Faiz, himself, also translated works of notable poets from other languages into Urdu. In his book “Sar-i Waadi-i Seena” there are translations of the famous poet ofDagestan, Rasul Gamzatov. “Deewa”, a Balochi poem by Mir Gul Khan Nasir, was also translated into Urdu by Faiz.