Poet Shamsur Rahman's death anniversary today | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 17, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 17, 2012

Poet Shamsur Rahman's death anniversary today

Expression of urban alienation


Today marks the 6th death anniversary of the pre-eminent poet Shamsur Rahman. Rahman was noted as an urban poet, columnist and journalist. He emerged in the latter half of the 20th century, wrote more than 60 books of poetry and is considered a key figure in Bengali literature. Major themes in his poetry and writings include liberal humanism, human relations, romanticism, democracy, religious fundamentalism and more.
Rahman was born on October 23, 1929 at his grandfather's residence in Dhaka. He was the fourth of 13 children. He studied at Pogose High School, Dhaka College and Dhaka University. Among his famed works are “Roudro Korotite”, “Biddhasta Nilima”, “Niraloke Dibyaroth” and “Adiganta Nagna Padaddhani”. Besides poetry, he also contributed to the realms of essays, stories, novels, translations and columns. Rabindra Bharati University and Jadavpur University of India conferred honorary D.Lit. degrees on him. His poems have been translated in many languages. Rahman was a recipient of Swadhinata Padak, Ekushey Padak, Adamjee Puroshkar, Bangla Academy Puroshkar and Jibanananda Puroshkar.
Veteran poet Mahadev Saha recalled: “Rahman was undoubtedly one of the foremost Bengali poets. I met him in the late '60s in Dhaka. I had spent a fair share of time with him at seminars, recitations, tours overseas and cultural programmes. I fondly remember our times together. In 1972, we went to Kolkata to attend 'Bharat Bangladesh Moitri Mela'. Laila Samad (noted writer) and her husband were also with us. We stayed at South Point School dormitory. The school was renowned for having some veteran writers as teachers, including Komol Kumar Majumdar and Ashish Shanyal. We stayed up the whole night, and exchanged views on various issues.”
Syed Manzoorul Islam, Professor, Department of English, University of Dhaka, talked about Shamsur Rahman and his poems. “Throughout a career spanning over six decades, he wrote numerous poems and published over a 100 books. His poetry remarkably articulates urban alienation. He was deeply influenced by Jibanananda Das and Sudhindranath Datta.”
Noted poet Shujauddin Kaisar said, “I met him in the mid '70s. At that time he was very popular among promising writers of Dhaka University. Rahman was not light reading.”

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