By: Sajad Jatoi
Evening shadows is the first anthology of poems by Dr Waheed Jatoi. Dr Waheed Jatoi is a prominent poet and litterateur from Sindh and is serving as Deputy Director at Sindhology . He holds a Ph.D. in English literature.
The topic of his doctoral thesis is An analysis and evaluation of mystical and philosophical aspects of G Allana’s English Poetry. Besides this book he has authored 3 other books.
Two of them are in Sindhi language, each on the topics of existentialism and poetry and the other one is, like Evening Shadows, a poetry collection titled “Sometimes”.
Evening Shadows appeared for the first time in 2004. It contains short poems, closed form poems, free-verse and an opera titled “The portrait of beloved”. It reveals the poetic genius of Dr Waheed Jatoi. Jatoi sahib is one of those poets who have mastery of the English language and maturity of the thought. While describing the beauty of his beloved he puts in:
“It was magic of her outlook
That made me write this book”
Again, revealing his feelings for his beloved he says:
Beetle moves around flowers
Moth loves every light
My worship is my beloved
Who is above every sight!
The poetry makes it clear that the poet is deeply in love with his beloved at the time of composing the following verse:
Let me tell you beloved’s worth
She is Venus on the earth
Life is difficult without her
And is also useless birth
In one of his free verse poems, he shatters the misconception that the shadow is loyal. The poem titled Shadow reads:
Shadow, my long shadow!
That flits before me
when I back onto the
It quits my company
When I face to the
Shadow, my long shadow!
How strange it is!
That it projects from me
Alas! It is not mine
At the time of difficulty
The opera, which is titled as The portrait of beloved, contains the event that takes place at the court of a king. The king has a picture painted by an artist and he wants it to be evaluated by five people. Of them there is each a poet, a painter, a sculptor, a businessman and a lover.
The all describe it through their respective professional lenses. I feel an overwhelming compulsion to reproduce all of the verse but in order to keep this article brief, I write few of them here. For example he introduces the poet as:
I am a poet son of bard
With the secrets in chest yard
And concludes as:
People say, “what are you worth?”
You are matchless on the earth!
The sculptor introduces himself as
My is quite a hard labor
I am called, the image maker
Of the Kings and the sages
In the return of daily wages
In the end, the lover starts his assessment of the portrait as:
I’m lover, an’see with mind
So is Cupid painted blind
The lover pays tribute as:
I may utter word of use
You are but the Tenth Muse.
It appears after the evaluation of the verses mentioned above that the poet has flair for the foreign language i.e English. He can easily describe scenes and feelings that are difficult to pin down. Thus, this is truly a thing to take pride in that the soil of Pakistan is producing such great poets. I hope rather expect that Dr sahib will continue to produce such quality poetry.
This might sound irrelevant here but I would like to mention it that Jatoi Sahib composes the poetry with the same quality and flavour in his mother tongue. Moreover, he is a prominent fiction writer too, and has produced a number of short stories.