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Sara Shagufta

Sara Shagufta was a Pakistani poet who wrote experimental, confessional, and political verse in Urdu and Punjabi. She was born in 1954 in the Punjabi city of Gujranwala, lived most of her life in Karachi, and after a series of hospitalizations and suicide attempts, was killed by a train in Drigh Colony, Karachi, in 1984. Shagufta’s short life was troubled by controversy and hardship, beginning with her first marriage at the age of seventeen and the subsequent death of her infant son. She was known as both a brilliant artist and a sharply critical feminist in her time, but she was also shamed for her independence, and her pursuit of love and sexual liberation. Her poems boil with the sorrows and difficulties of pregnancy and motherhood, revel in the love that emerges from human connection, elegize the beauty of the natural world, and sing for justice for the poor, the forgotten, and the overlooked. Two collections of her poems, Aankhen (Eyes) and Neend ka Rang (The Color of Sleep), were published posthumously. 

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