Monday, April 26, 2010


April 9, 2010

Mini-Symposium on Poetry Today

English Department

Future of poetry

Anisur Rahman

I do not believe as one should say or can say much on the future of poetry, however I would like to make my observations as well. I am simply love to see myself as a miner in the mine of poetry and thus survive. One can say something about the future of a poet, but not poetry truly. Poetry is really un-catchable goddess or beloved. One can only feel, but to understand her is almost impossible.

On the other hand, echoing the voice of one of our Bengali great poets Syed Shamsul Haq (1935--), I would like to say poetry is love-letter to time…. Against this backdrop, it is difficult to say in advance about the mind in a lover so in poetry and its future.

I had an exclusive conversation over social commitment in writing with Swedish writer Ola Larsmo at CafĂ© Vetekatten in Stockholm sometime last year. He asked me to whom a writer should be committed. I said, ‘none but life’.

I also believe in the saying by Norwegian talent Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), ‘To be poet is to see’. The future of poetry will be as how the future poets see life and how the life would actually be then. Life is must be for truth and beauty and so is poetry in past, today and in future. This is the subjects in poetry I am pointing out in the question of futurity.

There are some more universal and essential considerations in poetry. Poetry is a matter of ‘words’ ‘spontaneity’ ‘sensitivity’ ‘visibility’ and ‘musicality’. In this consequence I would like to remember Wordsworth (1770-1850) as saying …poetry is spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; and so will be in future. Poetry is also paintings at the same time. I hope future poets will not dismiss this.

Domination of technology is increasing day by day. It does not mean, humans will lose their interest in poetry. In that case use of poetry or presence of poetry or promotion of poetry may be different, but there is no way to find basic variance in futurity of poetry.

There is a saying scientists usually do not ignore the ways …on the other hand the poets do not think of ways but never ignore life. The same will be in future. Commercial use of poetry will be increased …like slogans, ads, t-shirts, city’s beautification and so…

Poetry is a concern of language and mind. Poetry from different languages and lands does have its common language. That language is to tell the mind. Poetry must tell mind either today or tomorrow…always.

In life there is something that can no how be expressed but in poetry…what is difference between photography and painting…that is something camera cannot give the language of mind, imagination and dream, thinking in photography, but a painter’s brush can present those in paintings…so does a poet in poetry…. The same will be in future…

In future, the humans will have mind, (as they have today) power, will of thinking, imagining, dreaming, biasness towards truth, beauties in life so to poetry. The toughest job is to write poetry…I myself do not believe as I have been able to write my successful poem yet…

Patronisation to poetry is somehow necessary. For this it is a must to have value based socialist welfare state functionality. In the history of Bengali poetry some longs years in between 1000-1200 AD and some one hundred years after 1757 during the British colony in Indian sub continent are considered to be the dark ages in Bengali literary tradition. No recognisable poetic tradition was made that time. The causes in this regard were absence of sovereign national governance in Bengal land. Futurity of history as well as life will be reflected in futurity of poetry.

I am not frustrated at all as the appeal of poetry will any how be demeaned in life in future. Moreover, for peace, progress, spirits in mind and biasness towards beauties in life, humans must come back to poetry again and again. Poetry is a shelter in life.

Anisur Rahman, a poet from Bangladesh, is ICORN guest author in Uppsala.

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