• Parabaas
    Parabaas : পরবাস : বাংলা ভাষা, সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি
  • পরবাস | Jibanananda Das | no category
  • Letters to the editor--Jibanananda Das section of Parabaas, (জীবনানন্দ দাশ বিভাগ-- পরবাস) :

    Letters to the editor--Jibanananda Das section of Parabaas, (জীবনানন্দ দাশ বিভাগ-- পরবাস)


    Arunima Ray's essay "Understanding Jibanananda’s Different Poetic Sensibility"
    In general this essay is well written and quite sincere. It may initiate some readers to Parabaas who perhaps do not read Bangla, but are curious and would enjoy exposure to serious literature. Here are few observations:
    The author makes a sincere attempt to analyze Jibanananda’s unique poetic style through an elaborate discussion of his three very well known poems, each from a different book of his earlier poetic phase. Therefore, the depiction of Jibanananda Das that we get by reading it is actually not the portrayal of his complete complex persona. Through overexposure 'Banalata Sen' has now become a cliché. The more we expose it to mundane analyses, at least to me; the poem gets denuded from its serene subtlety. 'Before Death’s' elegant and carefully crafted lengthy meter, though still remains one of my most favorites in the original Bangla, I however realize that a subset of his poems formed with just three random pieces of Banalata Sen, The Grey Manuscripts and Beautiful Bangla, really do not tell us the total story of one of the greatest poets of all times. Our comprehension of Jibanananda Das remains miserably incomplete until and unless we start very carefully reading the Darkness of Seven Stars, The Great Earth and finally The Moment, The Ominous Moment, The Fatal Moment and certainly the last poem in that last book!

    I for one do not accept that Jibanananda Das was a surrealist poet. He is no Guillaume Apollinaire. His poems are careful constructs, and certainly not at mercy of the subconscious. Even the travel through space and time, as mentioned in 'Banalata Sen' and for that matter in many other poems, is actually an effort to very consciously create a meta-world, the poet's own world, so to say, which contains all the essential elements gathered from a temporal Cartesian space over ages and over a vast expanse, but it is not exactly the world that surrounds us in our daily life. Jibanananda’s Natore therefore is the geographical place by the same name, but also it is not, and in his unique meta-world Bidisha, the town of antiquity, merges into a contemporary allegory at natural ease.

    Branding Jibanananda as a nature worshiper or something of that sort is actually seriously demeaning him! Beneath the apparently serene landscape of geographical Bangla, his is a world of 'spoilt cucumber and rotten melon' even during the days of The Grey Manuscripts, which in his later poems effortlessly merges into the world of his strange beggars and lumpen earthlings. Again I would like to caution that these are all careful constructs of a secondary world: it is indeed a sort of super-realism but not in the surrealistic sense.

    Indeed Jibanananda was drastically different from Premendra Mitra and Subhash Mukhopadhyay, who are mentioned in this essay, though at one point of time they all shared the same physical city and were quite sensitive to the pangs and tribulation of their own age. However, the ‘citizen’ poet on whom Premendra Mitra had composed his melancholic ode in Returning from the Ocean, perhaps always remained an enigma. The Barishal boy who walks the Kolkata streets as a man and ultimately perishes in front of a streetcar near Deshapriya Park tells us a uniquely singular urban metaphor that Kolkata may not get to hear ever again! I expected little more analyses of that in the present essay.

    Finally, I would like to commend the author on her efforts. Let Jibanananda studies grow further in Parabaas!

    Nirupam Chakraborti (pub. December 2012)

    The author's response:
    I agree that it is not a complete portrayal of the poet since I have not included other important poems and it is also difficult as I have mentioned in my essay to put him under any exclusive category even if his whole oeuvre is taken into account. Indeed I did not want it to be so in that sense. What I wanted to present was more of a synoptic view of the poet in terms of only three of his poems. The essay I hope succeeds in presenting the suggestion that I wanted to make about the poet's self.

    I also would never call Jibananada a nature poet in the old simplistic sense. I wanted to show how he evokes his picture/spirit of Bengal with which he could identify himself. That spirit/persona he produces in terms of a different set of images that project the subconscious terrain. It is the collage of these images that produces the real which could be called in a sense 'surrealistic'. I only wanted to suggest as much.

    So far as reference to Premendra Mitra and Subhas Mukhopadhyay is concerned, that was indeed a comment of Buddhadeva Bose.

    Life of Jibanananda Das
    I was born in Bangladesh. Lived in U.K., U.S.A. and now I am settled in Melbourne, Australia for the last 25 years. I always had an eye for our "Ruposhi Bangla" poet Jibonananda Das. I bought his whole collectios of poems and am still hungry to get any new materials or articles on our beloved poet. Thanks Parabaas!

    Faruk Hyder Choudhury (pub. July 2012)

    ক্লিনটন সিলি-র অনুবাদ The Scent of Sunlight
    কবিতার অনুবাদ, বিশেষ করে জীবনানন্দের কবিতার অনুবাদ প্রায় অসম্ভব। আর ক্লিন্টন সিলি সেই অসাধ্য সাধন করেছেন। এই অনুবাদ পড়ে মনেই হয় না যে এগুলো অরিজিনাল লেখা নয়। অন্য ভাবে বলতে হয় জীবনানন্দের কবিতা না পড়েও সিলি-র অনুবাদ অপূর্ব ও অরিজিনাল। আগে পড়েছি, এবারেও তার কোনো ব্যতিক্রম নেই। সুনীল গাঙ্গুলী 'অন্য দেশের কবিতা'-র মুখপত্রে লিখেছিলেন কবিতা অনুবাদ করলে তা অর্ধমৃত হয়ে দাঁড়ায়। ক্লিন্টন সিলি সত্য-ই অসাধ্য-সাধন করেছেন।

    রাহুল রায়, বস্টন (pub. May 2012)

    পরবাস, ২০১২

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