Sara Shagufta
(Pakistan, 1954–1984)   
Sara Shagufta

Sara Shagufta is an enigmatic character in Pakistani literary history. There are conflicting and controversial stories surrounding both her life and her death. However, what is known is that she started writing poetry after losing her baby and being deeply struck by the callous attitude of her husband towards this tragedy in her life. It is said she was constantly in and out of mental asylums, but continued to write poetry.

Shagufta had tried to take her own life on several occasions, but was saved by timely medical help. Eventually however, her struggle with herself did end, allegedly at her own hands.

A book on Sara Shagufta was put together by Amrita Pritam, considered the first prominent woman Punjabi poet, novelist, and essayist. Amrita considered Sara Shagufta's poetry close to the style of Sylvia Plath.

There is an excellent article written recently using a play created around her life as a springboard.

© Sascha Aurora Akhtar


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