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The 30 Selected and 20 New that comprise 50 POEMS have been chosen to present a concise and representative volume of Zulfikar Ghose' poetry for the general reader and for scholars specialising in contemporary English poetry and post-colonial literature. The earliest of the selected poems-first published almost fifty years ago inThe Times Literary Supplement, The London Magazine, New Statesman, The Spectator, and broadcast on the BBC Third Programme-established Zulfikar Ghose as Pakistan's premier English-language poet. Deracination, an obsessive theme in the early work, resonates as a metaphor for the human condition and gives the poems their universal appeal. The new poems draw upon a wider experience, ranging from an elegy on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to a meditation on an old Argentine bank note, all heightened by a philosophical underpinning which is a hallmark of Zulfikar Ghose' work. An impeccable craftsman and creator of striking images, whose themes touch the core of human experience, he is a poet of lasting significance: 50 POEMS presents his essential work.
Born in 1935, in Sialkot, Pakistan, Zulfikar Ghose has lived in England and the United States for much of his life. He was educated at Sloane School, London, where the headmaster, Guy Boas, a Shakespeare scholar, encouraged him to write, and at Keele University where he received his BA in English and Philosophy. He edited the university's literary magazine and the national anthology, Universities' Poetry. After graduating, he lived in London where he worked as a cricket and hockey reporter for The Observer, wrote book reviews for the TLS and The Spectator, regularly contributed to the Arts page of The Western Daily Press in Bristol and also worked as a school teacher. In 1969, he was invited by the University of Texas at Austin to teach where he held the distinguished position of Susan Taylor McDaniel Regents Professor in Creative Writing. He retired in 2007. He continues to live in Austin with his wife, the Brazilian artist Helena de la Fontaine.
Table of Contents
Preface 30 SELECTED 1. Flying Over India 2. Across India: February 1952 3. The Body's Independence 4. This Landscape, These People 5. The Attack on Sialkot 6. The Picnic in Jammu 7. The Water Carrier 8. Decomposition 9. Geography Lesson 10. The Remove 11. The Incurable Illness 12. Mutability 13. Kew Bridge 14. Don't Forget the Pill, Dear 15. Old Ragged Claws 16. On Owning Property in the U.S.A. 17. The Pursuit of Frost 18. The Other World 19. View from the Observatory 20. Come, Sailor 21. One Chooses a Language 22. A Memory of Asia 23. Notes Towards a Nature Poem 24. E.g. 25. An Arrangement of Wild Flowers 26. Sounds 27. A Young Girl Diving 28. A Dragonfly in the Sun 29. The Oceans 30. Lady Macbeth's Farewell to Scotland 20 NEW 31. Angina Pectoris 32. The State of One's Liver 33. Ask the Women 34. Autobiography in Late Middle Age 35. At Pere Lachaise 36. Disturbed Nights 37. Mornings in the City 38. In Essex 39. Nusrat 40. The Shadow 41. At the Oasis 42. All in a Lifetime 43. News from London 44. The Herb Planet 45. Tribal Drums 46. Stopping by the Roman Arch 47. The Church and the Tree 48. Three Rooms in a Fort by the Ocean 49. Quinientos Pesos 50. Returning to the Botanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro