Shamsur Rahman

Shamsur Rahman

Infobox Writer
name = Shamshur Rahman

caption = Shamshur Rahman
birthdate = birth date|1929|10|24|mf=y
birthplace = Dhaka
deathdate = death date and age|2006|8|17|1929|10|24|mf=y
deathplace = Dhaka
occupation = poet, journalist

:"See Shamshur Rahman for the critic from India".:"For the Bangladeshi cricketer, see Shamsur Rahman (cricketer)."

Shamsur Rahman (Bangla: শামসুর রাহমান "Shamsur Rŭhman") (October 24, 1929August 17, 2006) was a Bangladeshi poet, columnist and journalist. Rahman wrote more than sixty books of poetry and is considered a key figure in Bengali literature. He was regarded as the one of the most prominent Bengali poets in the latter half of the 20th century and the "unofficial poet laureate" of Bangladesh. Major themes in his poetry and writings include liberal humanism, human relations, romanticised rebellion of youth, the emergence of and consequent events in Bangladesh, and opposition to religious fundamentalism.

Life in Brief

Shamsur Rahman was born in his grandfather's house 46 no. Mahuttuli, Dhaka. HIs paternal home is situated on the bank of the river Meghna, a village named Paratoli, near the Raipura thana of Narshingdi district. Fourth of thirteen children, he studied at Pogos High School from where he passed his matriculation in 1945. Later he took his I.A. From Dhaka College. Rahman started writing poetry after graduating from Dhaka College at the age of eighteen. He studied English literature at Dhaka University for three years but did not attend the examination. After a break of three years he got admitted to the B.A. pass course and received his B.A. in 1953. He also received his M.A. in the same subject where he stood second in second division.

In his leisure after the matriculation, he read the Golpo Guccho of Rabindranath Tagore. In his comment this book took him into the extra ordinary world and he changed into a different man. In 1949, his poem "Unissho Unoponchash" was published in "Sonar Bangla" which was then edited by Nalinikishor Guho.

He had a long career as a journalist and was the editor of a national daily, Dainik Bangla and the weekly Bichitra. He was an outspoken liberal intellectual against religious fundamentalism and reactionary nationalism in Bangladesh. As such, he was a frequent target of the politically conservative as well as Islamists of the country. This culminated in the January 1999 attack on his life by the militant Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. He survived the attempt. [ [ Shamsur Rahman, Bangladeshi Poet, Dies - New York Times ] ]

He died in 2006 of heart and kidney failure after having been in a coma for 12 days. [ [ Shamsur Rahman, Bangladeshi Poet, Dies - New York Times ] ]


Shamsur Rahman's first book of poetry, "Prothom Gan Ditio Mrittur Agay", was published in 1960. He had to go through the political turbulence of 60's and 70's which also reflected on his poems clearly. He wrote his famous poem "Asader Shirt" which was written with respect to the Revolution of 69. During the Bangladesh Liberation War he wrote a bunch of extra ordinary poems based on the war. These poems were so inspiring that they were recited at the camps of freedom fighters. [Imam,Jahanara. "Ekattorer Dingul",Shondhani Prokashoni.pp 152.ISBN 984-480-000-5] Later these poems were published in "Bondi Shibir Theke" in 1972. Later he continued writing poems in the independent Bangladesh and remained as the poet whose poems reflect the history of the nation. During the historical movement against Ershad he published his book "Buk Tar Bangladesher Hridoy" indicating the great sacrifice of Nur Hossain.

Poetic diction

Shamsur Rahman wrote most of his poems in free verse, often with the rhythm style known as "Poyaar" or "Aakhsharbritto". It is popularly known that he followed this pattern from poet Jibanananda Das. He also wrote poems in two other major patterns of Bengali rhythmic style, namely, "Matrabritto" and "Shorobritto". [cite news
last =Hoque
first =Anisul
title =শামসুর রাহমান: ৭৯তম জন্মদিনের শ্রদ্ধা;ভুল-বোঝা সে কবি
work =Prothom Alo
pages =
language =Bengali
publisher =Mahfuz Anam
date =26 October 2007
url =
accessdate =2007-10-25

Career In Journalism

Shamsur Rahman started his professional career as a co-editor in the English daily "Morning News" in 1957. Later he left this job and went to the Dhaka center of the then Radio Pakistan. But he returned back to his own rank at "Morning News" in 1960 and was there till 1964. After the liberation of Bangladesh he wrote columns in the daily Dainik Bangla. In 1977 he became the editor of this daily. He also jointly worked as the editor of "Bichitra", a popular weekly published since 1973. During the period of President Ershad he got involved with internal turbulence in the "Dainik Bangla". A rank 'Chief Editor' was created to take away his position as the editor and rip off all powers from him. In 1987 he left the daily as a protest against this injustice. He also worked as the editor of monthly literary magazine "Adhuna"in 1987. [ Our Shamsur Rahman by Faizul Latif Chowdhury] and as the main editor of the weekly "Muldhara" in 1989. He worked as one of the editors of "Kobikantha", a poetry little magazine, in 1956. [The Daily Prothom Alo, August 18, 2006]

Critical acclaim

Zillur Rahman Siddiqui, a friend and critic, describes Shamsur Rahman as one who is "deeply rooted in his own tradition." In his opinion, Shamsur Rahman "still soaks the language of our times, transcending the limits of geography. In his range of sympathy, his catholicity, his urgent and immediate relevance for us, Shamsur Rahman is second to none."

Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam has similar praise for Rahman, "It is true he has built on the ground of the 30's poets, but he has developed the ground, explored into areas they thought too dark for exploration, has added new features to it, landscaped it and in the process left his footprints all over."

In the year 1993 renowned Bangladeshi writer Humayun Azad wrote a book about critical analysis of Shamsur Rahman's poetry titled 'Shmasur Rahman : Nisshongo Sherpa' ("tr. A lonely Climber").

However, it is often alleged that Shamsur Rahman evolved around his own poetic formula created in the 1960s and exhausted himself in the same fashion. He could not transcend himself during the next forty years of his poetic career.

Literary Works


* Prothom Gan Ditio Mrittur Age (1960)
* Roudro Korotite (1963)
* Biddhosto Nilima (1967)
* Niralokay Dibboroth (1968)
* Neej Bashbhumay (1970)
* Bondi Shibir Theke (1972)
* Dusshomoyer Mukhomukhi (1973)
* Firiay Nao Ghatok Kata (1974)
* Adigonto Nogno Pododhoni (1974)
* Ak Dhoroner Ohongkar (1975)
* Ami Onahari (1976)
* Bangladesh Shopno Dakhay (1977)
* Protidin Ghorhin Ghore (1978)
* Ekaruser Akash (1982)
* Udbhot Uter Pithe Cholche Shodesh (1983)
* Nayoker Chaya (1983)
* Amar Kono Tara Nei (1984)
* Je Ondho Shundori Kade (1984)
* Astray Amar Bishshash Nei (1985)
* Homerer Shopnomoy Hat (1985)
* Shironam Mone Pore Na (1985)
* Icchay Hoy Ektu Darai (1985)
* Dhulay Goray Shirostran (1985)
* Deshodrohi Hote Icchay Kore (1986)
* Tableay Applegulo Heshe Othay (1986)
* Obirol Jolahromi (1986)
* Amra Kojon Shongi (1986)
* Jhorna Amar Angulay (1987)
* Shopnera Dukray Othay Barbar (1987)
* Khub Beshi Valo Thakte Nei (1987)
* Moncher Majhkhanay (1988)
* Buj Tar Bangladesher Hridoy (1988)
* Matal Hrittik
* Hridoy Amar Prithibir Alo (1989)
* Shay Ak Porobashay(1990)
* Grihojudder Agae(1990)
* Khondito Gourob(1992)
* Dhongsher Kinare Bashay(1992)
* Akash Ashbe Neme(1994)
* Uzar Baganay(1995)
* Asho Kokil Asho Shornochapa
* Manob Hridoy Naibeddo Shajai
* Hemonto Shondhay Kichukal(1997)
* Chayagoner Shonge Kichukkhon
* Meghlokay Monoz(1998)
* Shoundorjo Amar Ghore(1998)
* Ruper Probale Dogdho Shondha(1998)
* Tukro Kichu Shonglaper Shako(1998)
* Shopno O Dushshopnay Bachay Achi(1999)
* Nokkhotro Bajate Bajate(2000)
* Shuni Hridoyer Dhoni(2000)
* Hridopodmay Jotsna Dolay(2001)
* Bhognostupay Golaper Hashi(2002)
* Bhangachora Chand Mukh Kalo Kore Dhukchay(2003)
* Ak Phota kemon Onol(1986)
* Horiner Har(1993)
* Gontobbo Nai Ba Thakuk(2004)
* Krishnopokkhay Purnimar Dikay(2004)
* Gorostanay Kokiler Korun Aaobhan(2005)
* Andhokar Theke Aloy(2006)
* Na Bastob Na Dushshopno(2006)

hort Stories

* Shamsur Rahmaner Golpo


* Octopas(1983)
* Adbhut Adhar Ak(1985)
* Niyoto Montaz(1985)
* Elo Je Abelzxzxay(1994)

Teenage Literature

* Alating Belating(1974)
* Dhan Bhanle Kuro Debo(1977)
* Golap Phote Khukir Hatay(1977)
* Rongdhonur Shako(1994)
* Lal Fulkir Chora(1995)
* Noyonar Jonno(1997)
* Amer Kuri Jamer Kuri(2004)
* Noyonar Jonno(2005)


* Kaaler Dhuloy Lekha
* Smritir Shohor

Collected Columns

* Akanto Bhabna

Poems in Translation

* Robert Froster Kobita(1966)
* Robert Froster Nirbachito Kobita(1968)
* Khawaja Farider Kobita(1968)

Drama in Translation

* William Shakespeare's "Hamlet"
* Uzein O'Neeler Markomilions


*Noyonar Uddeshe Golap
*Kobitar Shather Gerostali
*Gorosthane Kokiler Korun Ahban
*Nirbachito [SR] 100 Kobita
*Noyonar Jonno Ekti Golap
*Shera Shamsur Rahman
*Rongdhonur Sako
*Shamsur Rahmaner Sreshtha Kobita (1976)
*Premer Kobita (1981)
*Shamsur Rahmaner Sreshtho Kobita (from Kolkata) (1985)
*Shamsur Rahmaner Rajnaitik Kobita (1988)
*Shamsur Rahmaner Premer Kobita (1993)
*Shonirbachito Premer Kobita (1993)
*Nirbachito Chora O Kobita (1996)
*Kabbyashombhar (1996)
*Chorashomogro (1998)
*Prem O Prokitir Kobita (2004)
*Shera Shamsur Rahman (2004)
*Shamsur Rahman Kobita Shongroho (2005)
*Shamsur Rahman Goddo Shongroho (2005)
*Kobita Shomogro Ak (2005)
*Kobtia Shomogro Dui (2006)


* Adamjee Award (1962)
* Bangla Academy Award (1969)
* Ekushey Padak (1977)
* Swadhinata Dibosh Award (1991)
* Mitshubishi Award of Japan (1992)
* Ananda Puroshker from India (1994).
* TLM South Asian Literature Award for the Masters, 2006. [ Shamsur Rahman gets TLM Salam award of India] , The New Age, Bangladesh, March 22, 2006.]

ample Work

His most famous poem, arguably, is a poem written in 1971 during the liberation war in Bangladesh.

স্বাধীনতা তুমি
"স্বাধীনতা তুমি রবি ঠাকুরের অজর কবিতা, অবিনাশী গান"
"স্বাধীনতা তুমি কাজী নজরুল, ঝাকড়া চুলের বাবরি দোলানো মহান পুরুষ"
"সৃষ্টি সুখের উল্লাশে কাঁপা"

Shadhinota Tumi
"Shadhinota tumi Robi Ţhakurer ôjor kobita, obinashi gan
""Shadhinota tumi Kazi Nozrul, jhakŗa chuler babri dolano môhan purush
""srishţi-shukher ullashe kãpa ..."

Freedom, You
"Freedom, you are the immortal poems and songs of Rabindranath"
"Freedom, you are Kazi Nazrul, the great man with waving unkempt hair,"
"raptured in your joy of creation ..."

the phrase "srishti-sukher ullase" also refers to one of Nazrul's poems "aaj srishti sukher ullase"


Shamsur Rahman died in Dhaka on 17 August 2006 at the age of 77. [ Legendary Bangladeshi poet dies] ; BBC, August 17, 2006]


External links

* [ Library of Congress]
* [ Books of Shamsur Rahman Online]
* [ Three Poems]
* [ Selected Poems of Shamsur Rahman]
* [ A Day with Shamsur Rahman, translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury]
* [ A poem with translation]
* [ Shamsur Rahman no more] The Daily Star (Dhaka), 2006-08-18
* [ Editorial in "The Statesman", Kolkata – "Death of a poet"]
* [ Our Shamsur Rahman by Faizul Latif Chowdhury, New Age, August 16, 2006]

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