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PPF Seminar “Reviving our Traditional Interest in Poetry”

Date: March 18, 2004
Location: Karachi

On March 18, 2004, Pakistan Press (PPF) organized a seminar “Reviving our Traditional Interest in Poetry”, at its Vicky Zeitlin Media Library. The seminar was held for journalists in connection with the World Poetry Day being observed on March 21, 2004.

Invited speakers were of view that private and public have reduced patronizing literary activities, which is resulting in decline of traditional interest in poetry. Poetry has great impact on human lives and has always been a cultured way of expression. The speakers added that new generation has its career as a major concern and has lost interest in poetry.

Dr. Sahar Ansari, Professor, Department of Urdu – University of Karachi, said it is unfortunate that people in Pakistan have lost interest in poetry while in Japan, despite having mechanized life, an international center had been established in a five-story building to promote traditional Haiku poetry.

Renowned journalist, poet and writer Hassan Abidi said poetry and music have always traveled together in maintaining peace of mind and tranquility. He was of the view that despite having great importance, no organized efforts had been made by any secto
r for revival of traditional interest in poetry.

Ms. Fatima Hassan expressed that all great ancient civilizations of the world were known for their treasure of literature, which includes their poetic works but in present era people do not bother with it as they are preoccupied with computer, satellite channels and mobile phones etc.

“The priorities of the civil society have drastically changed and that is why public interest in poetry has diminished despite the fact that literacy rate in Pakistan has increased a lot,” she said. She was of the view that decay of community libraries, high cost of books and lack of patronage of literary activities by private and public sector organizations were also major factors behind diminishing interest in poetry and literature. She said the situation can be judged by the fact that hardly 1000 copies of the books are sold in the country with over 140 million.

Ms. Saleha Kausar recited a poem on prevailing situation with regard to poetry. She said poets depict true picture of society in few words, which is a difficult task.

Earlier, Mrs. Samina Ishaque, Director – PPF, spoke on significance of observing world poetry Day.

List of Speakers
Dr. Sahar Ansari
Professor — Department of Urdu
University of Karachi
Hasan Abidi
Journalist and Poet
Fatima Hasan
Saleha Kausar
Samina Ishaque
Pakistan Press Foundation

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