Early Poems: A Selection
translated by Syed Sajjad Husain
ISBN 984 32 3136 8 2006 70pp 220x140mm HB Tk.225.00 US$20.00
Culled from the early writings of Abul Hussain, who is recognized as the first modern Bengali poet in Bangladesh, these poems, translated by Syed Sajjad Husain, provide a glimpse into the essence of his poetry-urbanity, wit and satire, colloquial style and a toughness of texture. No effort has been made to convey the singularity of his diction and the expertise of his metrical and rhyming innovations, which distinguish him most from his contemporaries, since they are simply untranslatable. What is offered here is the nearest to the original, but only as far as the thought goesthe poet’s individual mind and manner, detached and cynical, yet committed to poetic forms and verities of our lives and imagination.
Abul Hussain was born in Khulna, a southern district in Bangladesh, in 1922. He studied Economics at the Calcutta Presidency College and Calcutta University. For more than three decades thereafter he worked in national and international organizations, at home and abroad, as a civil servant. At the same time he has been a major Bengali writer, excelling both in poetry and prose. Recognized as the pioneer of modern Bengali poetry in Bangladesh, he has been awarded state and other national prizes for his poetical works. He also represented his country in literary conferences and festivals in Belgium, USSR, Yugoslavia and India. Abul Hussain has traveled widely in Asia, Europe, USSR and the USA.