The poetry of Nazm Tabatabai and the commentary on the divan of Ghalib

Nazm Tabatabai is a name that will always be associated with the Urdu language and literature as the commentator and innovator of the poetry of Ghalib in a new style. He was recognized as a master of Arabic and Persian in his time. Today marks the anniversary of Nazm Tabatabai.

His real name was Syed Hyder Ali, and Nazm was his pen name. Nazm Tabatabai opened his eyes in Lucknow in 1853. He was a capable and diligent student who acquired education with great effort and dedication. Even in his youth, the scholarly abilities of Nazm Tabatabai were so renowned that he was appointed as the official poet of the princes of Oudh. Later, he became a professor at Nizam College in Hyderabad, and then he was honored with the title of Nawab Hyder Yar Jung by the government of Nizam. During this time, the establishment of the Ottoman University and the Translation House took place, where, based on his abilities and scholarly qualifications, he was employed as a literary supervisor. He scrutinized translations and refined their nuances.

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The poetry of Nazm Tabatabai is a collection of ancient and contemporary thoughts. Although there was not much inclination towards ghazal recitation, his ghazals were adorned with everyday idioms. These creations include the divan of Tabatabai, the terminology of Ghalib, and the commentary on the Urdu divan of Ghalib. His greatest achievement is the commentary on the divan of Ghalib, and its significance still endures today. Nazm Tabatabai also translated English poetry into Urdu. He translated the renowned English poet Thomas Gray’s verse under the title “Gore Ghareeban,” which holds a classic status. Gray wrote a poignant elegy for those who died and were buried without any recognition. The language of Nazm’s poetry is simple, yet it carries the intensity of anger. The use of similes and metaphors also adds great charm.

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Nazm Tabatabai left this mortal world on this very day in 1933.

Abdul Rehman

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