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LAHORE: A Punjabi poetry collection titled ‘Saijal’ by Mehmood Awan was launched at the Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture on Wednesday.

It is the third collection by the poet; his first book was launched in 2002 and the second in 2012.

To many speakers, the poetry of Mr Awan reflects not only his native land, unique imagery but also presents new metaphors and similes. The evening was moderated by Punjabi activist and intellectual Afzal Sahir.

A known writer of the Punjabi language, Nain Sukh, said Mr Awan’s diction was woven into the rural landscape; it was easy and spontaneous. The poetry also shares the poet’s life journey and experiences he went through as a sensitive soul. His poetry, he said, carried unique metaphors and similes.

Prof Zubair said Mr Awan was well read man who had studied both Punjabi and Urdu literature deeply. He said with his third book of poetry, Mr Awan stood out because his poetic tone was different. The book, he said, highlighted objects and symbols of his native land - Saun Sakesar valley.

Poet Raja Sadiqullah said it was something great that the poet would unveiled a good quality book after every some four to three years.

He said the poet had so expressively describe the emotion and feelings in the collection and he had come across several heart touching lines in the book. He read out a few lines with eyes brimming with tears.

The diction and symbolism used by the poet was so relevant with the rural culture he belonged to that it created an affection towards the pastoral scenes, the poet had described through his poetry, he said.

Mr Awan thanked the audience and speakers and said Punjab and poetry were not his part time passions. He read a few poems from his book.

The evening was presided over by veteran Punjabi intellectual Mushtaq Sufi.

He held the poet in high esteem and said that Awan’s poetry was inspiring. He said the book would be muse for him for he had not written poetry for quite some time. Mr Sufi said that the poet had also laid his hand on love poetry. Love poetry, he said, was an ages old tradition in Punjabi poetry. He said that the imagery and diction used by the poet was relevant to his native land. The poet, he said, had got a big spectrum and among new poets his voice had his own charm and appeal.

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2017