1. Mirza Ghalib
Ghalib’s prominence in Urdu poetry can never be disregarded. It is difficult to pick one poem or shayari from the numerous gems that he has gifted us, and the beauty of his poetry is that the emotions expressed in his couplets are still relatable.
2. Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Faiz Ahmad Faiz and his work truly touches the human heart. He evokes emotions because his poetry is rarely without an accompanying haunting quality of pain. If there is someone who understands loss of love, it has to be Faiz saab.
The extent of Gulzar’s excellence as a poet, lyricist and writer can never be mapped. Gulzar adapted his writing with the changing times, but the capability to evoke human emotions was and will always be the cornerstone of all his works. Picking a single song to represent him is impossible, but this work comes pretty close.
4. Javed Akhtar
It can be easily said that Javed Akhtar honed his craft as much as he inherited it, considering his parents were also excellent writers and poets. But it’s the simplicity of his works that make them so memorable.
5. Ada Jafri
Regarded as the “The First Lady of Urdu Poetry”, Ada Jafri managed to express herself at a time when the society was especially conservative towards women in poetry. She has mostly written ghazals and her works were an expression of her experiences as a wife and mother.
6. Firaq Gorakhpuri
Firaq Gorakhpuri was the pen name of eminent poet and writer Raghupati Sahay. A noted poet, most of his work came into creation during his tenure as an English lecturer in Allahabad University. However, the relevance of his work is not bound by time.
7. Sahil Ludhianvi
Popularly known as Sahir, Sahil Ludhianvi was an amazing Urdu poet, who also penned some classic songs for Bollywood. His work is still remembered, and oft recited, by budding poets and admirers alike.
8. Bashir Badr
Bashir Badr, who was a prominent Urdu poet, spent a large majority of his adult life as a lecturer at Aligarh University. With more than 7 collections of Urdu poems, his understanding of the language and excellence of craft can never be questioned.
9. Majrooh Sultanpuri
Urdu poetry has the power to reach your soul, and Majrooh Sultanpuri’s works are just the perfect example of this. From writing iconic songs for movies, to memorable ghazals that his admirers can recite in their sleep, his creations are simply beautiful.
10. Rahat Indori
Rahat Indori’s poetic brilliance has made him one of the most acclaimed celebrity Urdu poet of all times. His renowned mushaira performances, and famous lyrics have only added to his fame and popularity over the years.