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Mir Taqi Mir

Mir Taqi Mir was born at Agra in 1723. He spent his early childhood under the care and companionship of his father, whose constant emphasis on the importance of love and the value of continence and compassion in life went a long way in moulding the character of the poet, and this became the chief thematic strand of his poetry.

Mir is one of the immortals among Urdu poets. He is a perfect artist of the ghazal, which makes its peculiar appeal through compression, suggestion, imagery and musicality. He builds his poetry on the foundations of his personal experience. His favourite theme is love - love unfulfilled - and his favourite manner is conversational. Mir lived at a time when Urdu poetry was yet at a formative stage - its language was getting reformed and purged of native crudities, and its texture was being enriched with borrowings from Persian imagery and idiom. Aided by his aesthetic instincts, Mir struck a fine balance between the old and the new, the indigenous and the imported elements. Knowing that Urdu is essentially an Indian language, he retained the best in native Hindi speech and leavened it with a sprinkling of Persian diction and phraseology, so as to create a poetic language at once simple, natural and elegant, acceptable alike to the elite and the common folk. Consequently he has developed a style which has been the envy of all succeeding poets...

It is a commonplace of criticism that Mir is a poet of pathos and melancholy moods. His pathos, it should be remembered, is compounded of personal and public causes. His life was a long struggle against unfavourable circumstances...

Mir was a prolific writier. His complete works, Kulliaat, consist of 6 dewans, containing 13,585 couplets comprising all kinds of poetic forms: ghazal, masnavi, qasida, rubai, mustezaad, satire, etc.

... He died in Lucknow on 20 September 1810.


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