|Omer Tarin (also Omar Tarin and Omer Tareen)|
|Occupation||Poet, writer, scholar, Chishtiyya-Qadiriyya sufi|
Omer Tarin (not real name, pen-name), born March 1966, is a Pakistani poet in English, research scholar, social activist and mystic. In some editions of his works, the name is written as Omar Tarin.
Tarin was born in 1966 to the Tarin (or Tareen) family, or clan, of the Hazara region of the North-West Frontier (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), while his father was posted as a senior civil servant and administrator in Peshawar. From his maternal side, he is related to the Hayat family of Wah, in North Punjab. He was educated at the Burn Hall School (now Army Burn Hall College), Abbottabad and the Aitchison College, Lahore, Pakistan, prior to graduating from the University of the Punjab, Lahore. He later obtained various higher degrees in English and Post-colonial Studies from Pakistan and the United Kingdom respectively.
After a short time in the civil service of Pakistan, Tarin resigned to become a full time university lecturer and research scholar and involved himself in literary and academic pursuits. He has published four volumes of poetry in English so far, widely reviewed in Pakistan and abroad, as well as several poems published in anthologies and collections worldwide. His volumes of poetry are : A Sad Piper (1994; 1996 UK), The Anvil of Dreams (1995), Burnt Offerings (1996, 1997) and The Harvest of Love Songs (1997, 2000; and UK ed 2003). Since 2004, he has not published any new volumes of poetry although he has been publishing poems independently from time to time. In recent years, he has also been involved in various literary and historical projects of an academic nature, chiefly focussing on the colonial history of South Asia, in particular North-Western Pakistan. Recent academic publications include works on military history/campaigns on the Frontier and some work on Rudyard Kipling and Kipling's India. A number of these works are available or referenced online, and were published in the Kipling Journal, UK and the Journal of the Indian Military Historical Society, also the UK. He has diverse academic and literary interests and is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, UK, The Tolkien Society (UK), associate of the Kipling Society, and the Indian Military Historical Society (IMHS).
In addition to his literary and academic interests, Omer Tarin has also long been involved in limited social activism, especially in relation to environmental, forests and wildlife conservation, in his native area. He also makes occasional comments on various aspects of global politics and environmental issues in the media, from time to time.
Omer Tarin's poetry holds a notable place in Pakistani poetry in English. It has a certain erudite grace, a universal, humanitarian quality and passionate involvement that raises it above the general run of much of the work recently published in Pakistan and South Asia, generally. It seems to be deeply influenced by the mystic, transcendental tradition of the great Sufi and Bhakti poets of the South Asian subcontinent, such as Hazrat Baba Farid 'Ganj Shakar', Baba Bulleh Shah, Rahman Baba, Kabir Das and even Guru Nanak, in addition to that of the classical Sufi poets and writers of Islam such as Rumi, Hafiz, Saadi and Attar—in terms of its essential lyricism, its engagement with 'human' issues, problems and challenges; as well as in the experimentation with form and content, in ways that have certainly not been attempted by other poets here today. He has also a fascination with Japan and Japanese culture and esoteric, or meditative practices, which find reflection in his works. In the words of Tariq Rahman, a noted Pakistani scholar and literary critic, "a certain force of vitality" and creative 'intensity' is to be found in Tarin's writings that unveils the depths of the poet's knowledge, wisdom and deep understanding of the cultural heritage of his own society as well as Western and other world literary-symbolic traditions. One of Tarin's early poetic mentors, to whom he owes a great deal and to whom he himself paid tribute, was the late Taufiq Rafat, one of the pioneers of English poetry in Pakistan/South Asia, an important scholar of Punjabi Sufic poetry in his own right. His indelible influence is quite manifest in Tarin's own poetical development.
Tarin's poetry reflects certain basic, recurring qualities such as a broad, universal humanity; a mystical regard for nature, life and the universe; a sense of the frailty of human existence and a continued concern with the central issues of life/death and immortality; which also inform his style, and the system of symbolism and images that consequently arises from this, via which "...new patterns emerge in our perception of the world, of creation, of ourselves and our motivations".
Tarin's major publications include:
- Spirals:Essays in Criticism (1992)
- A Sad Piper:Poems (1994 first ed)
- The Anvil of Dreams:Poems (1995)
- Burnt Offerings, Poems (1996)
- The Harvest Season of Love Songs Poems (1997)
- Sepoys and Sowars: Historical Essays, Ed (2000)
- Riverbeds Flowing:Selected Poems (2005)
- Selected Shorter Essays (2011)
- From Hill and Plain:Selected Short Stories (2011)
- According to Tarin he also trained in the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism during the 1990s. See recent interview by Salma Rafiq, in 'Brilliant Writings' magazine, Lahore, Pakistan, December 2014
- Biographical information in the Introduction to "A Sad Piper", Leo Books, Islamabad, 1994 edition ISBN 969-8127-03-8; and 2nd edition London, UK, 1995, p. vi
- Comments (28 November 2011). "Omer Tarin " ilyask2". Ilyask2.wordpress.com. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Thus, from his paternal side he is a great-grandson of Khan sahib Abdul Majid Khan Tarin, OBE, and from his maternal side a great-grandson of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan
- Luminita Karim, article on Omer Tarin in Weekly Poetry Review, in "The Muslim" daily, Islamabad, 28 October 1994, p. 18
- 'Brilliant writings' magazine interview, December 2014 issue
- Mahmood A. Khwaja (Autumn 1999). "Book Review, "The Poet as Spiritual Being: A Review of Omer Tarin's Burnt Offerings"". Sangat literary journal, Vol. 27, No. 3,. pp. 21–24. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- He has, however, recently brought out a small volume of prose writings, "Selected Shorter Essays", 2011. ISBN 978-1-105-15532-1; as well as a collection of short stories, "From Hill and Plain" ISBN 978-1-105-18623-3, as well as some other prose works
- "Omar Tarin". Open Library. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "News". Jullundurassociation.org. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "The Kipling Society". Johnradcliffe.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- For example, in Vol 84, No 339, December 2010, pp. 35–52; and Vol 82, No 327, June 2008, pp. 10–22
- "Name Index". Kipling.org.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Indian Military Historical Society". Imhs.org.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Americas | World reaction to Obama's 100 days". BBC News. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Pilkington, Introduction to 2nd ed 'A Sad Piper', 1996 ISBN 1-86033-185-8
- Mazhar ul Salam, Preface to 'Harvest Season', Islamabad, 1997 ISBN 969-8127-11-9
- "Gina's Interview Series: Famous People From Around the World". Gmcknight.com. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Ayesha Sadozai, Review, Safar-Namah by Omer Tarin: A Critical Note, in Ellipsis literary magazine, Vermont, USA. Retrieved online https://www.facebook.com/notes-pakistani-english-literature/safar-namah-by-omer-tarin-a-critical-note/484841711639243, 27 March 2014
- Česky. "lyricism – Wiktionary". En.wiktionary.org. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Omar Tarin (8 October 2011). "Sophia's review of Burnt Offerings: Poems". Goodreads.com. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Ahmad Zafar (12 May 1995). "Frontier Post". p. 15. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- For a detailed report on Haiku and Omer Tarin's work, please see Yasuhiko Shigemoto's interview in The Mainichi shimbun, Japan, issue of 15 August 1998; present Japanese website http://mainichi.jp
- Tariq Rahman (6 December 1996). "Review of Pakistani English Poetry". The News. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Tarin, "Taufiq Rafat: In Memoriam", obituary in The Pulse weekly, Islamabad, 30 Sept-6 Oct 1998, n.p
- Dr Iftikhar Malik Review
- E. Cyprian (16 July 1995). "Critical review". "The Nation". Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Customer Reviews: The harvest season of love songs: Poems". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Open Library Catalog
- A. Rahim, Ed. (1999) "A Select Bibliography of Pakistani Literature in English" ed A Rahim, Islamabad.
- Ian Hamilton, Ed. (1994). Section on Pakistani English poets/writers in "The Oxford Companion to 20th Century Literature".
- "Poetry International" (Asia section), Ed by Edwin Thumboo, Vol 7/8, SDSU Press, CA, USA, 2003. 
- Review of Pakistani Literature in English in the "Journal of Commonwealth Literature ", 1997
- Alamgir Hashmi, "Pakistani Literatura in 1993 and 1994" pub in Revista Alicantina de Studios Ingleses, No. 13 (2000)
- Tariq Rahman "Review of Pakistani English Poetry", The News on Friday, The News International, Islamabad ed, 6 December 1996.
- Tariq Rahman "A History of Pakistani Literature in English", Lahore: Vanguard Books, 1991.
- O. Tarin "Taufiq Rafat: In Memoriam", in Pulse Weekly, Islamabad, 30–6 Sep Oct 1998, np.
- Luminita Karim, Weekly Poetry Review, Daily The Muslim, Islamabad, 28 Oct 1994
- B. King ed (1996) "New National and Postcolonial Literatures" Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Eric Cyprian, "Poems of Considerable Merit"; A Critical Review of Omer Tarin's "The Anvil of Dreams" in daily The Nation, Islamabad, 16 July 1995, np.