Afzal Ahmed Syed holds a unique place among contemporary poets of the Urdu language, as an acknowledged master of both the classical and modern Urdu poetic forms. The poems in Rococo and Other Worlds explore the mythology and historical realities of South Asia and the Middle East; their bold imagery creates narratives of voluptuous perfection, which remain inseparable from the political realities that Syed witnessed as a young observer of the violent separation of East Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh in 1971 and of the Lebanese civil war in 1976. Musharraf Ali Farooqi's sensitive translations bring this extraordinary work to English readers for the first time.

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