Bimal Guha (Bangla: বিমল গুহ is a Bangladeshi poet, and a leading poet of his generation. He appeared on the Bangladesh literary scene in the 1970s. His themes revolve around the war of liberation and the eternal subjects of love, nature, motherland, mother-tongue, tradition, and modernity.

Biography

Bimal Guha was born in Bajalia village under Satkania Upajila of Chittagong district. He is the eldest of four children by Prasanna Kumar Guha and Manadabala Guha. He had his early education at a local Bajalia High School and his Secondary and Higher Secondary education from 1968-70 at Satkania College. He received his MA in Bengali literature from the University of Chittagong in 1975. Later he studied publishing at Napier Polytechnic of Edinburgh (Napier University), UK. He also received training in editing and publication from Philippines and Thailand. He received his PhD in modern Bengali poetry from the University of Dhaka in 1997.

Literary Career

Bimal Guha entered the literary arena in 1968 while he was still in school. He read the Sanchaita (collected poems) by Rabindranath Tagore during his leisure time after his secondary examination. He was inspired and began writing. His first poem, Akash (The Sky) which was published in Rashmi, the Satkania college magazine in 1969. Shortly after his poems began to appear in different literary periodicals and literary sections of the newspapers.

His first book of poems Ahongkar, Tomar Shabdo (Pride, Your Words) is published in 1982, he then transcends into newer perceptions from one volume to another. Without following the regular path of his predecessors, he creates his own way and style of writing. Imagery, simile, metaphors and symbolisms that Bimal applies in his poems are special and striking, they imply the probabilities of his specialty in creating individualistic style in the poetic world of Bangladesh.

He has 23 books to his credit; his works include poetry, research, travelogue, edited books and 38 articles on literature and culture. Uncompromising in life-struggle Bimal never bends down to the ungraceful. He has revolting fire in himself; he struggles with quick-sand all through his life. During the 1970s, specially after the liberation war, those who transformed Bangladesh poetry into a newer consciousness and human rejuvenation and have developed expression of art to arrest time and space into a newer vision, Bimal is remarkable of them. He is associated with many literary and cultural organizations including Bangladesh Writers Club, Editing and Publication Association of Bangladesh, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh and Bangla Academy.

Critical Acclaim

Poet-Critic Shudhasattwa Bose of West Bengal, India remarked- ‘Since the seventies, poems developed a newer feelings and understanding, poetic diction has changed, delivery of words and phrases has totally changed overnight. It has started a new without touching the old totally. We can take references from Bimal’s poems’.

Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam has described in an introductory note- ‘Bimal Guha’s poems are about the problems of our time, more particularly about the difficulties of adjustment that a feeling and thinking individual faces in an increasingly alienating world. As values are forgotten or become obsolete, and relationships become problematic, individuals have to struggle to cling to their dreams. Guha writes movingly about love which can offer a way out but which is constantly thwarted by a mechanical universe. Guha also writes about the need for social change. What makes his poems remarkable is his crisp style which both invokes the rich tradition of the 1930s and charts its distance from it. His diction is personal, contemporary and colloquial. His poems are indeed records of a creative pursuit that excels when it find challenges’.

British poet Benjamin Zephaniah has remarked in an interview- ‘Bimal’s poetry is so conversational, and he is also very passionate about the poetry of Bangladesh’.

Personal

He married Meena Guha in 1980 and they have three daughters. Dr. Guha began working at the University of Dhaka in 1979, and now heads an administrative office.

Awards and Honour

Young Writers National Literary Award for poetry by Ministry of Information, Govt. of Bangladesh (1979)
Kingbadontir Amra National Literary Award for poetry (1385 Bangla Era)
Bangabandhu Memorial Award (1408 Bangla Era)
Palal Prokashani 50th Birth anniversary celebration (2002)
Poet-Celebrity of Bangladesh Writers’ Club (2002)
Shilpa O Sahitya (literary journal) ed.Ferdous Salam, Vol.2, no.1, Oct. 2002, Special issue on Bimal Guha
Bimal Guha: Kobi-O-Kobita, a book ed. Farook Mahmud & Khan Mahbub, Palal Prokashani, Dhaka, Oct. 2003
Faridpur Nirnoy Shilpigoshthi Gold Medal (2008)
Poet Jibanananda Das Award (2009).

Bimal Guha's Works:

Poetry

Ahongkar, Tomar Shabdo (1982)
Sanko Par Hole Kholapath (1985)
Swapne Jwale Shartohin Bhor (1986)
Bhalobasar Kobita (1989)
Poetry (1989)
Nasto Manush O Onnanno Kobita (1995)
Pratibadi Shabder Michhil (2000)
Nirbachito Kobita (2001)
Selected Poems of Bimal Guha (Tr. Siddique Mahmudur Rahman) (2010)
Amra Rayechhi Mati Chhunye (2011)

Juvenile Poetry

Megh Gurgur Brishti Name (2000)
Aguner Dim (2001)
Chadai Chhana (2002)
Shada Megher Bhela (2008)

Research

Ohidul Alam : Life and Literature (1999)
Adhunik Bangla Kobitay Lokojo Upadan (2001)

Travelogue

Onno Deshe Onno Bhubane (2008)

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