On the 8th of October, 2023, Zeba Books, an independent publishing house with a passion for words, accomplished something truly magical. They orchestrated “Poetic Expressions,” a virtual extravaganza, where the enchanting world of poetry collided with the limitless potential of the internet. Poets from diverse backgrounds and linguistic preferences gathered via Zoom to share their verses, their emotions, and their souls. With a profound appreciation for wordsmiths of all languages, Zeba Books made history by awarding five gifted poets with the ultimate prize: a book publishing deal.
The Poetry Affair in a Digital Era
In an age where the digital realm has opened doors to creative possibilities, Zeba Books stepped up to celebrate the profound art of poetry. The medium of choice was Zoom, the stage, a virtual one, but the emotions and creativity, as real as it gets. Poetry, often deemed as the most authentic form of literary expression, found a new home in this virtual event.
Unity in Diversity: English, Hindi, and Urdu Poetry
“Poetic Expressions” was all about unity in diversity. The event was an ode to linguistic variety, showcasing the beauty of words in three enchanting languages: English, Hindi, and Urdu. The poets transcended linguistic boundaries to connect with a global audience, proving that emotions and stories know no linguistic barriers.
The Resonance of Language: English
In English poetry, the verses soared, carrying tales of love, heartbreak, triumph, and despair. Some poets spun words into intricate metaphors, while others chose the path of straightforward narrative. Yet, all of them managed to convey their innermost thoughts with a unique lyrical charm.
During the event, Syed Foazia Fayaz, one of the participating poets, put together in words,
She too was a princess, a queen of dreams, but never had she known she would end up with screams.
Haniya Abbas presented her poem, Mothers of Mankind, with lines,
From household to stet, Paradise lies down her feet, shoreless comfort from the width. Mother of Mankind, a garden of faith.
Another poet at the event, Varsha Mathur presented her poem, Evermore, with the captivating lines,
The eclipse will come to seize you from me, I’ll be there, twinkling with warmth to set you free.
The Allure of Hindi and Urdu Poetry
Hindi poetry added a layer of mystique to the evening. It transported listeners to the rich tapestry of Indian culture, blending the modern with the traditional. Poets expressed themselves in the language of the heart, weaving timeless emotions into their words.
Urdu, often referred to as the language of love, lent an air of elegance to the event. Urdu poetry, with its lyrical beauty and rich heritage, unfurled like a delicate tapestry. The verses, deep and resonant, painted a vivid picture of the poet’s soul.
Yousof Azeem spoke in Urdu language with poignant lines that left an impression on the judges,
Iss dil ki tamanah hai ke banu teri tamanah, aap haath utaye tho kare meri tamanah…
The Prize: The Coveted Book Publishing Deal
The highlight of the evening was the grand prize – a book publishing deal. For poets who have yearned to see their verses between the pages of a book, this was the golden opportunity. Zeba Books, in their commitment to nurturing literary talent, promised to transform the winning poems into published works, ready to inspire readers worldwide.
A Symphony of Emotions: The Poets Speak
Every poet who graced the virtual stage during Poetic Expressions carried with them a unique story, an emotional journey, and a vivid imagination. Their verses resonated with hope, despair, love, and the vast spectrum of human emotions. From the moment they began to recite, listeners were drawn into a world where words painted pictures in their minds and melodies in their hearts.
Connection Beyond Boundaries
What was truly exceptional about this event was its ability to connect poets across the globe. It wasn’t just about the poets sharing their works; it was about the audience, too. Zoom’s virtual format allowed people from diverse backgrounds to participate, creating a global community of poetry lovers. Attendees experienced poetry from far corners of the world, gaining new perspectives, cultural insights, and a shared love for words.
A Journey through Time and Emotion
As each poet took their turn, the audience embarked on a journey through time and emotion. They experienced the exhilaration of young love, the melancholy of separation, the joys of success, and the profound wisdom of age. This was poetry that transcended the barriers of age and time, connecting the audience to the universal human experience.
The Judges’ Dilemma
Selecting the top five poets proved to be a Herculean task for the judges. Each poem carried its own unique charisma, and the emotions behind them were profoundly moving. Ultimately, the judges had to make the difficult decision of selecting the poets whose works would be published by Zeba Books.
The event was judged by Mr Yousuf bin Mohammad, acclaimed poet, and Ms Sana Akhtar Usmani, academic scholar and poetry enthusiast. Perhaps the crux of the event can be summed up well in the words of Ms Sana Akhtar Usmani herself:
Poetry is not about reading a few sentences, it is about emotions, feelings, and how you express your ideas through poetry.
After much deliberation, Zeba Books announced the names of the five poets who would have their poems transformed into published works. Their poems touched the heart and soul of the judges. These poets encapsulated the very essence of what “Poetic Expressions” sought to achieve: to celebrate the diversity of human experiences through the power of words.
The winners include:
- Yousuf Azeem
- Syed Foazia Fayaz
- Sartaz Rizvi
- Haniya Abbas
- Varsha Mathur
Conclusion: A Day of Literary Triumph
“Poetic Expressions” was not just an event; it was a triumph of the human spirit. It showcased the resilience of poetry, proving that even in the face of digital screens and virtual stages, the power of words can transcend. Zeba Books gave poets the opportunity to dream big and achieve their dreams, connecting them with a global audience that shares their passion for language and emotion.
As the event came to a close, the words lingered in the virtual air, echoing the sentiments of every poet and poetry lover present. It was a day where words found wings, and the world celebrated the magic of language. Zeba Books had opened a door to a world where the language of the heart reigns supreme, and it was an event that poets and listeners would remember for years to come.
Relive the event by watching the recording in full below: