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Early Modern Indian Poetry Essay

1200 words - 5 pages

Jibananda Das
During the later half of the twentieth century, Jibanananda Das emerged as the most popular poet of modern Bengali literature. Popularity apart, Jibanananda had distinguished himself as an extraordinary poet presenting a paradigm hitherto unfamiliar. It is said that his unusual poetic diction, selection of words and thematic inclination took time to reach the heart of the readers. The poetry of Jibanananda has become the defining essence of modernism in twentieth century Bengali poetry. He is considered one of the precursors who introduced modernist poetry to Bengali Literature, at a period when it was influenced by Rabindranath Tagore's Romantic poetry. Towards the later ...view middle of the document...

Jibanananda progressively develops these same four images throughout the poem, metamorphosing these from remoteness to intimacy, dimness to distinction and from separation to union.
. He was prone to write in free verse but could maintain a lyric tension althrough. Selection and placement of words often produced a music of alliteration within. Use of ordinary, household, rather unpoetic, words seemed to be intriguing. Profuse punctuations, particularly, frequent use of semi-colon and dash, were also noticeable. Nevertheless, his strength as a poet rang clear and loud.He often chose a theme and covered it with a tapestry of images, metaphors and similes, whereby his intended message metamorphosed into a picturesque text. While this impressed his literary colleagues, he was often misunderstood.
Generally Jibanananda’s poetry was a victim of continuous misunderstanding. For years, the Shanibarer Chithi, one of the most outspoken literary magazines of the time, chased him with merciless comments. The weekly, in its different issues, referred to at least thirty-five of his poems with sheer acrimony. Jibanananda was a very sensitive person. Undue criticism affected him seriously and jolted his self-confidence. According to his wife Labanya Das, whenever the poet felt frustrated about his poetic achievement, he would turn away to prose. Jibanananda Das conceived a poem and moulded it up in the way most natural for him. When a theme occurred to him, he shaped it with words, metaphors and imagery that distinguished him from all others. Jibanananda Das's poetry is to be felt, rather than merely read or heard.
Writing about Jibanananda Das' poetry, Joe Winter remarked:
“It is a natural process, though perhaps the rarest one. Jibanananda Das's style reminds us of this, seeming to come unbidden. It is full of sentences that scarcely pause for breath, of word-combinations that seem altogether unlikely but work, of switches in register from sophisticated usage to a village-dialect word, that jar and in the same instant settle in the mind, full of friction – in short, that almost becomes a part of the consciousness ticking.”
Jibanananda successfully integrated Bengali poetry with the slightly older Although hardly appreciated during his lifetime, many critics believe that his modernism, evoking almost all the suggested elements of the phenomenon, remains untranscended to date, despite the emergence of many notable poets during the last 50 years. His success as a modern Bengali poet may be attributed to the facts that Jibanananda Das in his poetry not only discovered the zone of the slowly evolving 20th-century modern mind, sensitive and reactive, full of anxiety and tension, but also that he invented his own diction, rhythm and vocabulary, with an unmistakably...

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