Selected Poems, Rezauddin Stalin, Kureghor Prokashoni, 2017
The sublime use of language can be best met in poetry which holds an intrinsic kinship with aesthetics. Poets play with words delicately to create poetic essences and readers extract some sense from them. The whole business of poetry is in fact an aesthetic game.
Rezauddin Stalin is a very good player of such aesthetic game. A voice from the eighties in the Bengali literary scene, Stalin has proved his poetic genius through more than thirty books of poetry. He is modernist in expression, careful in diction and arrangement of lines, and able to exert an impact on the mind of readers. His poetic techniques function at the emotional as well as cognitive level. His poems are replete with mythical allusions; he often weaves tales with words through a mixture of truth and fiction. His verse reflects his social sensibility and hence it never seems to be congruent with 'art for art sake'.
Stalin has published his Selected Poems recently. This collection contains 69 poems translated from his published books of poetry by Zakeria Shirazi, Gulshan Ara Kazi and Helal Uddin Ahmed. Zakeria Shirazi has also written an introduction to the book, highlighting the salient features of Stalin's poetry.
No translation can be completely faithful to the original. Poetry, in particular, is often considered 'untranslatable' due to the load of hidden associative meaning of words deployed in poems. However, all through translators of Selected Poems have tried to keep close to the form and meaning of the original. Rendered in a new shape, the poems may even prove attractive to readers. Certainly, they will introduce them to an important voice that has been heard for some time now in Bangladeshi poetry.
Binoy Barman is the Director, Daffodil Institute of Languages (DIL), and Associate Professor, Department of English, Daffodil International University.