Satyendranath Dutta (also spelt as Satyendranath Datta or Satyendra Nath Dutta) (Bengali: সত্যেন্দ্রনাথ দত্ত), a Bengali poet, is considered "The Wizard of Rhymes" (or ছন্দের যাদুকর - chhonder jadukar in Bengali). Satyendranath Dutta was an expert in many disciplines of intellectual enquiry including medieval Indian history, culture, and mythology.

Early Life and Education

Satyendranath Dutta was born in the village of Nimta near Kolkata. His father Rajaninath Dutta, who hailed from the village of Chupi in Burdwan, was a trader. His grandfather, akshay kumar datta, was editor of the tattvabodhini patrika.His grandfather, Akshay Kumar Datta, was a great thinker, Brahmo social reformer and writer who was the guiding spirit of the Tattwabodhini Patrika.

After passing the school leaving examination (matriculation) from the Central Collegiate School in Kolkata in 1899, he received his graduate level education (FA) from the General Assembly’s Institution in Kolkata in 1901. He sat for The BA examination in (what is now) Scottish Church College but was unsuccessful. Although he left the college without taking a degree, his training there helped him immensely for the future. After unsuccessfully to join the ranks of his father in their family business, he quit that to devote his energies entirely to scholarly pursuits.

Literary Life

Although joined his father, Satyendranath, soon devoted himself exclusively to writing poetry. He composed poems and initially composed poems for the Bengali magazine Bharati. Although his stylistic nuances during this stage reflect the influence of Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Akshay Kumar Boral, and Debendranath Sen, his later poetry illustrates a greater resonance with the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore.

Nevertheless, he maintained his distinctive poetic style. He was well known for his material skill, and devised several metres while keeping intact the sound system and phraseology of Bangla. This is why he was known as 'the magician of metrics' or 'the king of metres'. His famous essay, Chhanda-Sarasvati, on metrics, was published in the Baishakhi issue of the Bharati magazine in 1918. He was the first poet to compose poems using words from Persian and Arabic and thus expanded the versatility of the Bengali language. Being a polyglot, he translated poems from Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, English and French, thus giving Bengali readers a taste of foreign poetry and metric nuances. He tried to bridge the gap between Bengali literature and world literatures. The main thematic refrains of his poetry are patriotism, humanism, tradition, worship of power, among others. He also wrote poems on the depressed classes or Dalits, such as the sweeper community.

Satyendranath Dutta wrote under several pseudonyms: Nabakumar, Kaviratna, Ashitipar Sharma, Tribikram Varman, Kalamgir etc.

Rabindranath has immortalized Satyendranath in a poem written after his death.

Satyendranath Dutta's Works:

Books of Poems

Sabita (The Sun, 1900), Sandhiksan (The Opportune Moment, 1905), Benu O Bina (1906), Hom Shikha (The Blaze of the Yagya, 1907), Fuler Fasal (The Harvest of Flowers, 1911), Kuhu O Keka (1912), Tulir Likhon (Written with a Brush, 1914), Abhra-Avir (1916), Hasantika (1919), Bela Sheser Gan (Song at Dusk, 1923), Biday-Arati (Farewell Hymn, 1924), Kavyasanchayan (Collected Poems, 1930), Shishu-Kavita (Children's Poetry, 1945), Bhorai (The song of Dawn).

Volumes of Verse Translations

Tirtharenu (1910), Tirtha-Salil (1918) , Mani Manjusa (1915).

Other Works

Janmaduhkhi (Destined to be sad from Birth - novel, 1912), Chiner Dhup (Chinese incense - essays, 1912), Rangamalli (play, 1913).

Poems by Satyendranath Dutta

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