A devotee's songs offering
How do you love Tagore? Let me count the way. You must have tuned him with all the springs, all the monsoon, all the love-laugh, and with all the grief. But, have you ever tried writing poetry as a tribute to him? Such a poesy endeavour attempted Maruful Islam in his newly launched poetry collection entitled 'Notun Kore Pabo Bole' one of its kind dedicated to Tagore. Being a devotee of Tagore, Maruf is offering his songs to Tagore in a pastiche approach: where Tagorian verses are wisely merged in Maruf's post-modern poems.
This book is an apocalyptic black, a perfect winter evening companion with attractive binding that is the cover which will make one irresistible to open it. While walking through Prague's roads Poet and friend Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam got the idea of the book cover: all the feather of white flowers are bowing to one ruby red flower. This spell bounding cover peeps to readers mind about the mystery, which tends them to smell the ferment inside.
We all admire Tagore. As he enchants his devotees, the title of this book entices the readers. 'Notun Kobe Pabo Bole' tells us how Tagore can be mingled with Bengalis' regular lives. From tiny incidents to bitter-sweet memories of love-loss, while travelling home and abroad -- all the incidents of poet's life are, as if, entwined with Tagore in the poems of 'Notun Kore Pabo Bole'.
What is a poet tempted by? Experimentation, perhaps. It's about poet's autobiographical encounter to Tagorian verses all through his life; on the other hand, its Tagore's lines with which each of Maruf's poems have reached conclusion in this book. Whenever poetry and life intersects, the invisible Tagore inside the poet comes out to end the poem. What can be more captivating way to show the gratitude to Tagore!
Lyrical in mode, rhythm in sound, Maruf's sense of incorporating dewdrops' beauty in the poems make Maruf's poems sensual. On top of that, light muddy pages make it aromatic with morning's freshness, fog's obscurity, river's serenity, nuisance over lost land, and haze of urbanisation. Nothing crosses Maruf's feet unnoticed.
Evocative image. Readers will wake up by the poetry of Maruf. He often takes us on a journey that is very regularly extraordinary! Experiencing those journeys would give an unexpected awestruck to the reader that how such mundane object can bloom being significant in poetry.
Among 108 poems, such an example of the poem is the very first one. It is all about poet's regular travelling days with friends and family from Sumida River to Themes to Atlantic City to Zurich. All different experiences of different parts of the world of the poet have met at one point that is Bangladesh and our delighted language Bangla. There he ends on Tagore -- "Beloved Bangla mine, love you" (Amar Shonar Bangla, Ami Tomay Bhalobashi).
He writes about the middle class life of a poet, dilemma of lover who is soon going to be abandoned by the beloved, burning desire of a friend to reunite with the lost friend, and, his spontaneity penned about his devotion to his country and its glorious history. The comprehensive stories of Maruf's poems take us back to the beacon of 1971 in the poem number 2 -- which not only portrays a vivid imagery of the dark nights and the struggle, but also determines that Bengal will never bow to her enemies. Poem number 4 also sings the same song.
Maruf's poems are like river-stream. At certain points of those poetry-worms would feel that it's not the poet who penned to write the poems rather it's all those poems' thousand decade's cry that are constantly pushing Maruf to pen them.
Such naturalness portrays Bengal's rural beauty in poems. Poem number 3, 4, 8, 7, 26, 27, 28, 32 and many more are all of this kind. In all Bangla's six seasons, rain, pigeon-ash-cloud, mundane mornings, and delight of magpie's tweet -- all swings in Maruf's pen.
What is a big challenge for a poet? Recollect the moment from cherished memory. He recollects memories even after more than twenty years of the event and poured it in ink so spontaneously that it seems the event just happened yesterday. 12 number poem says about such an incident, where as a university going student poet went to meet his loved one. The agonized poet walks, through his memory lane and flow the pain from heart to his soul and words -- "Sleep awoke me sudden, not dreams / stone bestowed roads are mine" (Ghum Bhenge Jay, Shopno Noy/ Amar Pothe Pothe Pathor Chorano).
Maruf intertwines his never told stories in 'Notun Kore Pabo Bole'. To mark, number 5 poem is a lost kite like his life sometimes. Unattended desires did not go blur from Maruf's life, be that his lost love be that of friends being near and then lost, or craving for once enjoyed tiny village's road. Rather he tamed those for years in prison of his poems number 10, 33, 69, 66, 62, 64, 107, 108 and more.
What else poetry can do to its lover? It can make them visit to their memory lane and at the same time make them knot together with the melancholy. This is what Maruf's poem number 69 does. Subtle yet it travels to the ache of the reader but like always, a beam of hope is there to flaunt with the signature optimism of Maruf's poetry. There it concludes - "My pleasure is in the awaited path of yours" (Amar ei Poth Chauatei Anondo).
Life goes green to greener in Maruf's carpe dime. He brings us Tagore or vice versa in a way we never thought of. Maruf is offering to us, in a new way, the old wine. 'Notun Kore Pabo Bole' is a sheer delight to flip through amidst wine-words, and whisper images.
The reviewer is working with
The Daily Observer