Reflections: Poems by a Pakistani Teen Poetess

Feb 23, 2016 | Iraq, Issue 3 - March 2016, Issue 3 Blog

Iqra Rehman’s book, “Reflections: Poems of a Pakistani Teen Age Poetess” is described by Professor Iftikhar H. Malik FRHistSoc & MCR, Wolfson College, Oxford Centre for History and Culture School of Humanities and Cultural Industries Bath Spa University, UK as follows:

“Iqra Rehman’s poems reflect an innate innocence that one attributes to an impressionable growing young person. She explores religion, urban life, diligence, natural beauty and even her sadness over leaving her favorite city. She is aghast at one of her uncles who has gained fame yet has lost contact with the family but offers homage to the Quaid and to AQ Khan for what they did for the Indus people. Her verses embody mellow dreams and mild grievances in a society which is changing so rapidly and where earthly heavens like Swat turned into a hellhole. Like other younger Pakistanis, she is disturbed over Pakistanis killing fellow Pakistanis in an endless and aimless war that began next door in the form of a revengeful invasion. We have seen flowering of Pakistani fiction in recent times along with thoughtful media comments, but not enough has been published in the realms of English poetry. I guess Iqra’s simple and honest diction will encourage other Pakistanis to share their creativity in verse with the rest.”

Women Across Frontiers is spotlighting two of the poems included in this collection by the young poetess. The first one is called “Because I’m a girl” and it was written in her younger years. The author says of it: “There was a misunderstanding and my mom had discouraged me to speak even to justify myself which made me to write this poem.”

Because I am a girl

I wana hitFull cover reflections
Everything I wana kick
But I’ve to quit
Because I’m a girl
I am being suppressed
I am getting depressed
But I don’t express
Because I’m a girl
My abilities I wana polish
The dreams I wana accomplish
But they are demolished
Because I’m a girl
Others make my decisions
Without my feelings precisions
But I can’t show excoriation
Because I’m a girl
I’m being blamed
Bad name of me is being famed
Silently I’ve to feel ashamed
Because I’m a girl
Islam has given us rights
For ourselves we should fight
Make or future bright
Because we are girls.

Iqra has been published in International Journal and after many literary reviews, her work was recognized by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Being a girls’ education activist she has been conducting creative writing sessions for the girls from rural areas. She has represented Pakistan at international forums including the Youth Conference in Sri Lanka, and has brought home several awards by many literary circles. The second spotlighted poem is called “Mirrors and Masks” and it belongs to Iqra’s latest work.

Girls in school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Photo: Vicki Francis/Department for International Development

Girls in school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Photo: Vicki Francis/Department for International Development

Mirrors and Masks

Mirrors and Masks
Not longer they last

Mirrors I thought,
Fell off as masks.
Masks I thought,
Fell pieces apart.
Looked into it; I saw
Broken figure so raw
Collected and composed
Then I chose to walk.

Away from…
Mirrors and Masks
Not longer they last.


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