Urdu Poetry is a dominant cultural heritage that takes its roots from India and Pakistan. Several well-known Urdu poets are famous not only in India and Pakistan but in all over the world where there is a Muslim community.
Many poems written by great Urdu Poets are translated into other languages and some are not just converted into another language but into another genre as well. Many ghazals or love poems communicating the feelings of the Urdu Poets are translated into songs and sung world wide.
One great example of an Urdu Poem that is translated into another form is the patriotic song Saare Jahan Se Achcha. This is still being sung today in India and other Muslim communities outside of India.
Popular Urdu Poets
Many Urdu poets are not just known for their poem and letters but some of them even entered the world of politics.
In here, you may find a short list of well-loved Urdu Poets and the very same people who shaped Urdu as a language and literary masterpiece.
Famous Urdu Poet 1- Mir Taqi Mir
His real name is Mohammad Taqi but Mir is his takhallus and thus, he became known to many as Mir Taqi Mir.
While there are several Urdu Poets that came before him, it was believed that Mir Taqi Mir is the person who shaped Urdu as a language.
Mir Taqi Mir is born in Agra but lived his life mostly in Delhi where he was known as Khuda-e-Sikhan, in English it means God of Poetry.
He pioneered ghazals, which are poems communicating love to a beloved.
He has a colorful past and these may be traced in his Urdu Poems and Verses.
Famous Urdu Poet 2- Mirza Ghalib
His real name is Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan. He initially used Asad as a takhallus or pen name but a copycat whose work he does not like used the takhallus Asad and thus Mirza Ghalib changed his takhallus into Ghalib. Now, he is known in many of his works as Mirza Ghalib.
Mirza Ghalib is not just a well-loved Urdu Poet but Persian Poet as well.
He is known to be one of the famous contemporaries of Mir Taqi Mir. He is likewise known for his Ghazals. He writes conversational poems for the beloved but in his poems, the personality of the beloved are not specified. It may be either a women, a man or God.
This made his Urdu works interesting and thus he became known as the most popular and influential poet of the Urdu language.
Famous Urdu Poet 3- Allama Muhammad Iqbal
Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal is a popular Urdu Poet, a philosopher and politician. He is well-educated and even has his master’s degree.
Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal is a well known figure in Lahore serving as a member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly and later on as president of the Muslim League in 1930.
While serving for the government and his legal practice, Muhammad Iqbal did not stop writing Urdu poems. He is likewise writing in Persian and many of his works have European translations as well.
Several Public Institutions are named after Allama Iqbal in Lahore and he is even a figure in a Pakistani currency.
Famous Urdu Poet 4- Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Faiz Ahmed Faiz is a revolutionary Pakistani Poet who is considered to be the most famous modern Urdu Poet.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz is a supporter of the Communist Party of Pakistan. He also served as Editor of Pakistani Times and other publications. In this position, he was able to promote the cause of communism.
Because of this, he was sentenced to a four year imprisonment for the case Rawalpindi Conspiracy. His imprisonment made him experience the harsh realities of life and used this time to writer several of his well-loved works.
These Urdu works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz gave him the Lenin Peace Award and later on a nomination in the Nobel Prize.
Famous Urdu Poet 5- Ahmed Faraz
His real name is Syed Ahmad Shah. He is another revolutionary Urdu poet. He is known to be a revolutionary poet as many of his poems are used in protests.
He is a master of Urdu and Persian language and even has taught the languages in the Peshawar University.
The outspoken characteristic of Ahmed Faraz may be traced when he was arrested for reciting poems in the mushaira criticizing the military rule. As a result, Ahmed Faraz went on a self imposed exile for 6 years.
Upon his return, things have not changed and he continued to write his revolutionary poems.
There are other Urdu poets and many of them would get their inspirations to the famous Urdu masters.