Daud Kamal

Daud Kamal

داؤد کمال)
January 4, 1935


January 4, 1935




Ahmad Rahi (1923–2002) was a renowned Pakistani poet, distinguished for his significant contributions to Punjabi literature. Born as Ahmad Shah Awan in the town of Gharjakh, British India (now in Pakistan), Rahi’s poetic journey was deeply rooted in the cultural ethos of Punjab. His pen name “Rahi,” meaning “wanderer” in Urdu, reflected his penchant for exploring life’s multifaceted dimensions through his verses.

Rahi’s poetry encapsulated the essence of love, social issues, and the rural life of Punjab. He ardently advocated for the rights of the common people and strived to bring attention to the struggles of the working class. His verses echoed the pain of the marginalized, portraying their emotions and aspirations with great empathy and sensitivity.

Throughout his literary career, Rahi penned numerous poems, captivating readers with his vivid imagery, rich metaphors, and a profound understanding of human experiences. His work exuded a sense of nostalgia for the simplicity of rural life and also delved into the complexities of human relationships and societal disparities.

Ahmad Rahi’s legacy endures through his invaluable contributions to Punjabi literature, leaving an indelible mark on the poetic landscape and continuing to inspire readers and aspiring poets alike, both in Pakistan and around the world.

Early life

Daud Kamal was born on April 6, 1935, in Sialkot, British India (now part of Pakistan). He was raised in a literary environment as his father, M.D. Kamal, was a well-known poet. Daud Kamal’s upbringing was steeped in Urdu literature, which significantly influenced his love for poetry and language.

He completed his early education in Pakistan and then went on to study at Government College Lahore. Later, he pursued higher education at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. His exposure to different cultural and literary experiences during his time in both Pakistan and the UK played a significant role in shaping his poetic sensibilities.

Kamal emerged as a prominent poet during the 1960s and 1970s, contributing significantly to modern Urdu poetry. His poetic style was innovative and experimental, incorporating diverse influences while maintaining a strong connection to traditional Urdu poetic forms.

His literary contributions and profound impact on Urdu poetry earned him recognition both in Pakistan and internationally. Tragically, Daud Kamal’s life was cut short when he passed away at the young age of 42 in 1987. Despite his relatively short life, he left a lasting legacy in Urdu poetry. His works are celebrated for their depth, innovation, and linguistic richness.

Story behind the name

Daud Kamal, a prominent Pakistani poet, was born in 1935 in Jhelum, British India. The story behind his name isn’t widely documented in publicly available sources, but it’s believed that the name “Daud” has Arabic origins and is associated with the name of the Islamic prophet Dawood (known as David in the Bible). “Daud” means “beloved” or “loved one” in Arabic. It is a name that holds significance in Islamic culture and is often given to honor the Prophet Dawood.

As for the name “Kamal,” it’s an Arabic word that means “perfection” or “excellence.” The combination of “Daud” and “Kamal” in his name might reflect a sentiment of beloved perfection or beloved excellence, which could potentially signify his family’s aspirations or values.

Daud Kamal was known for his significant contributions to Urdu poetry. He was a modernist poet who crafted his work with depth and sophistication, contributing to the literary landscape of Pakistan. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1987 at a relatively young age, leaving behind a legacy of poetic brilliance that continues to be celebrated in Urdu literature.


Daud Kamal was a Pakistani poet whose works are known for their depth, imagery, and thoughtful exploration of various themes. He was a talented poet, and though his life was cut short at a young age, his contributions to Urdu poetry were significant. Some of his notable works include:

1. “Siyaah Haashiye” (The Black Borders): This collection showcases Kamal’s contemplative and reflective style. His poems often explore themes of love, loss, and the human experience.

2. “Doosra Jahan” (The Other World): This collection continues his exploration of various themes, delving into the complexities of existence, spirituality, and the world around us.

3. “Hawadith, Hawadith” (Incidents, Incidents): This collection is known for its vivid imagery and powerful use of language to convey emotions and thoughts.

Kamal’s poetry is characterized by its intellectual depth, emotional resonance, and a unique perspective on life and its complexities. His contributions to Urdu poetry continue to be celebrated and appreciated by poetry enthusiasts.


Daud Kamal was a highly esteemed Pakistani poet, known for his remarkable contributions to Urdu poetry. His legacy primarily revolves around his profound and innovative poetic works, which continue to inspire and influence contemporary poets and literary enthusiasts.

Kamal’s poetry was characterized by its depth, intense emotional exploration, and a unique blend of traditional and modern poetic elements. He was known for his ability to craft verses that delved into the complexities of human emotions, life, and the world around us.

His legacy persists through his published collections, such as “Shab-e-Khoon” (Night of Blood), which garnered critical acclaim for its poignant portrayal of personal and collective experiences. His poems often reflected a deep sensitivity towards social and political issues, human suffering, and the intricacies of the human condition.

Beyond his literary contributions, Daud Kamal’s legacy lies in his influence on subsequent generations of poets and his role in shaping the landscape of Urdu poetry. His innovative use of language and form has left a lasting impact on the genre, serving as an inspiration for aspiring poets and scholars.

Despite his life being tragically cut short in 1987 at the age of 34, Daud Kamal’s legacy endures through his profound and thought-provoking poetry, which continues to be celebrated and cherished by admirers of Urdu literature.

Notable work

Daud Kamal, a Pakistani poet, was known for his significant contributions to Urdu poetry. He had a unique and profound style that garnered attention in the literary world. One of his most notable works is a collection of poetry called “Sanam Kada,” which is highly regarded for its depth, imagery, and thought-provoking verses. “Sanam Kada” showcases his poetic prowess and remains one of his most acclaimed works, earning recognition for its innovation and literary merit in Urdu poetry.

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Awards and recognition

Daud Kamal was a highly acclaimed Pakistani poet who made significant contributions to Urdu literature. He was recognized for his exceptional talent and received several awards and honors for his literary work. Some of the notable awards and recognitions of poet Daud Kamal include:

1. Adamjee Literary Award: Kamal received this prestigious award for his poetry collection titled “Gumshuda Fun” in 1966.

2. Pride of Performance Award: He was honored with the Pride of Performance Award, one of the highest civilian awards in Pakistan, for his remarkable contributions to Urdu poetry and literature.

3. Sitara-i-Imtiaz: This award is one of the highest honors given to civilians in Pakistan for their achievements and contributions in various fields. Daud Kamal was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz for his remarkable services in the field of literature.

Daud Kamal’s literary prowess and unique contributions to Urdu poetry earned him respect and acclaim within Pakistan and internationally, solidifying his place as a distinguished poet in Urdu literature.




Daud Kamal, a Pakistani poet, wrote in English. He is known for his evocative and rich poetry that often delves into themes of love, loss, nature, and the human experience. His works are characterized by their lyrical quality, vivid imagery, and depth of emotion. Kamal’s poetry reflects a deep connection to his cultural roots while also embracing a universal human experience that resonates with readers from various backgrounds. His contributions to English poetry have earned him recognition and respect in the literary world.

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