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17 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Al Mahmud: Demise of an icon

Al Mahmud: Demise 
of an icon

The death of Al Mahmud, widely regarded as one of the finest poets in Bengali language, marks the end of an era–an era where Mahmud created his own genre and found his own diction. Al Mahmud was one of those rare poets who was not only a poetic genius but also immensely popular. His works have inspired and will continue to inspire Bengali poetry.

  Al Mahmud was not the kind of poet to flow with the tide, rather he often swam against it. His poetry is unique in that instead of being influenced by the Western poetic thoughts and techniques like most of his contemporaries it was the sights and sound of rural Bengal that inspired him.  The sensuous appeal of his poems came not from the concrete jungles but the soil, water, nature and indeed women of rural Bengal. Again unlike many modern Bengali poets there was this overriding spirituality in his works which struck a deep chord with his readers.  

Al Mahmud was always true to his convictions and ideals and rarely hesitated to express them. However he never resorted to slogan mongering and remained true to the poet in him. While he had strong views on various issues that did not lessen his appeal to readers who did not always agree with his views. Al Mahmud will also be remembered as a guide and mentor to many young poets.

Al Mahmud was no drawing room aesthete. He was a patriot and it was his patriotism that made him go across the border to India and participate in the Liberation War efforts. His opinions on literature and its role in society were not always conventional. In spite of that his opinions carried serious weight.  

Besides being a prolific poet Al Mahmud was also a fiction writer, novelist, essayist and journalist. As a matter of fact it was as a journalist that he started his career. He obtained widespread recognition as one of his poems was published in the famous Indian literary magazine Desh.  After Lok Lokantor in 1963, in succession, he wrote Kaler Kalosh (1966), Sonali Kabin (1966) and Mayabi Porda Dule Otho (1976). Al Mahmud joined Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in 1975 and retired in 1993 as director of the academy. He was honoured with many awards including Ekushey Padak, Bangla Academy Award, and Kabi Jasim Uddin Award, in recognition of his contribution to Bangla literature.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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