Selected Poetry of Zafar


Muntakhib Kulliyat-I Zafar is a collection of poetry by the last Mughal emperor and last ruler of the Timurid Dynasty, Muhammad Bahadur Shah II (1775–1862), generally known as Bahadar Shah Zafar. The son of Akbar Shah II, the ruler of a declining empire, Zafar was a prolific writer and a great Urdu poet. He was influenced by Sauda, Meer, and Insha, eminent Urdu poets of the 18th–early 19th centuries. Zafar was also a noted patron of contemporary poets, including Ghalib, Dagh, Shah Naseer, Momin, and Zauq. He came to the throne in 1837, but his control did not reach far beyond Delhi’s Red Fort. After the Uprising of 1857 (also known as the Sepoy Rebellion), the British exiled him to Rangoon, where he lived out his days. Much of his poetry laments loss and suffering and the mental pain of imprisonment. He wrote geets, poems with a melodious haunting rhythm, but most of his prodigious output was in the lilting form of ghazals. Much of his work was lost in the chaos of 1857, but his surviving ghazals were gathered into a collection in which the eloquence, Sufi mysticism, and fluent style that characterize his work are evident. In this edition, potentially unfamiliar Urdu language is explained in Farsi and Arabic terms.

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Munshi Nol Kashor, Kanpur, India

Title in Original Language

منتخب کلیات ظفر

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184 pages ; 26.4 x 17 centimeters

Last updated: December 3, 2012