Biography of Jivanananda Das

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Jivanananda Das is the most heterodox, not to say eccentric, among the poets of the new school and he is no doubt the most original. Das was brought up in Barisal where he had his school and early college education, and he finished his University education in Calcutta. His first efforts in versification were along the traditional path and his early poems follow the pattern of Satyendranath Datta and Kazi Nazrul Islam. His early poems were published in different periodicals, were collected in a volume entitled Jhara Palak (A Cast-off Feather, 1928). His poems, often violently new and raw, were ridiculed and caricatured by the opposite camp. This had a very adverse effect on the sensitive mind of the poet who was temperamentally introspective, shy and solitary.

Many of the seventeen poems of his first significant book Dhusar Pandulipi (The faded Manuscript, 1936) were first published in Pragati (1927-30); the rest in Kollol and other periodicals. His other books of poetry are : Banalata Sen (1942, enlarged 1952), Mahaprithibi (The Great earth, 1944)and Satti Tarar Timir (Darkness from the Seven Stars, 1948). His Srestha kavita (The Best Poems, 1954) is a collection that contains also some poems not included in the other volumes. Das latterly attempted to write prose also, but with the exception of one or two, his literary and critical essays were left as drafts and the author did not get time to give them a final shape. These are now published in book form : Kavitar Katha (Discourse on Poetry, 1956). In these essays Das tried to defend the New Bengali Poetry. Assessing the new school of poets vis-a-vis Tagore, Das opines:

“The post-Tagore period started from the publication of Kollol. Here there is no single Rabindranath but there are some poets present here who do away with the necessity of a second Rabindranath.”

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