Today is the 146th death anniversary of Michael Madhusudan Dutt, legendary Bengali poet and father of the Bengali sonnet.
Dutt is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets in Bengali literature. He initiated what came to be known as the Amitrakshar Chhanda.
Dutt was born in 1824 at Sagordari, on the bank of Kopotaksho River in Jashore. His father, Rajnarayan Dutt, was an eminent lawyer, and mother was Jahnabi Devi. His celebrated work, “Meghnad Bodh Kavya” is a tragic epic. It consists of nine cantos and is exceptional in Bengali literature both in terms of style and content. He also wrote poems about the sorrows and afflictions of love as spoken by women.
Dutt’s childhood education started in Shekpura village, at an old mosque, where he learnt Persian. An exceptionally talented student since his childhood, Dutt was recognised by his teachers as being a precocious child with a gift of literary expression. He was also very imaginative.
From an early age, Dutt aspired to be an Englishman. Born to a Hindu aristocratic family, he converted to Christianity as a young man, much to the annoyance of his family, and adopted the first name Michael. In later life, he regretted his attraction to England and the Occident. He wrote ardently of his homeland in his poems and sonnets from this period.
Dutt’s major works included “Tilottama”, “Meghnad Bodh Kavya”, “Birangana”, “Choturdoshpodi Kobitaboli”, “Brajangngana”, “Sharmishtha”, “Ekei Ki Bole Shobhyota”, “Buro Shaliker Ghare Rown”, “Ratnavali” and so on.
The poet died on this day in 1873 in Kolkata of India.