The International Poetry Journal in Bengali and English

Issue 24/25
April-Sept '04

    Bilingual Poetry
    Sample Poetry in Bengali
    Goeorge Wallace's Article on Azad Attack

    Dr. Azad in Translation
    To the Editor
    Humayun Azad's Essay
    The Spirit of Azad's Poetry

The Spirit of Azad's Poetry

Gerald Christoff

I read with great pleasure the poetry translated by Hassanal Abdullah in the Jan-March 2004 issue of Shabdaguchha and wish to briefly describe my reactions. I was immediately struck by the haunting imagery that evoked not only a sense of loss, longing and suffering but also of hope and a future renewal. At first, one may wonder if poetry, often considered a luxury in Western society, has real relevance in a time of great calamity. I would respond that creations of the imagination can come closer to the truth of war, death, love and courage than simple factual reporting. Is the dividing line between fact and fiction so clear? Paradoxically, the facts can deceive, whereas fiction can more truly reveal the secrets of the human heart and spirit. When the reality moves beyond the facts, when words in the literal sense fail us, we must turn to poetry and the other arts to authentically express our experience. It was with these thoughts in mind that I read and reflected on the poems of the late Dr. Humayun Azad and the other gifted poets represented in this volume. Now I can more truly understand the spirit of the aspirations of the Bengali people.

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    Shabdaguchha, A Journal of Bengali and English Poetry, Published in New York, Edited by Hassanal Abdullah.