ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Samar Sen: Centenary

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This year, 2016, is the birth centenary of Samar Sen, who enriched Bengali poetry and journalism in his own creative ways. He bade farewell to poetry in the 1940s at the height of his fame as a major Bengali poet. In one of his last poems called “Janmodine” (Birthday), composed in 1946, Samar Sen wrote: “The romantic ailment no longer transforms into poetry” (Sumanta Banerjee’s translation). He found it difficult to express his radical thought in the language of poetry and did not deceive himself by pretending to do so. In his essay bearing the title “The Alien Corn,” carried in the Statesman (1951), he criticised the contemporary middle-class Bengali poets for their self-deception: “the absorption of communist ideology into poetry is a difficult process … Middle class poets, who had accepted communism as mere dogma, slurred over the complexities of the situation and the contradictions of their class; many deceived themselves into believing that they had been declassed and attempted to wield their pens like swords for the cause of the proletariat. They went into a wilderness, their voices loud, their emotions choked by doctrinaire jargon.”

Samar Sen nurtured his ethical moorings throughout his career as a journalist. But, that is another story.

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