August 3 marked the 72nd birth anniversary of distinguished poet and literary critic Abdul Mannan Syed. He was also a cerebral essayist. On the occasion of his birth anniversary, several cultural and literary organisations arranged discussions and poetry recitation events.
Mannan was born to Syed AM Badr-ud-Duja and Anwara Majid in 1943 at Bashirhat in Chobbish Pargana, India. He studied at Nawabpur Government High School, Dhaka College and the Bengali Department of Dhaka University. He taught at the department of Bengali, Jagannath College, Dhaka. Later he served as the director general of Nazrul Institute and was the first scholar-in-residence in Bangladesh at North South University.
Mannan started writing poems in 1960. His first book of poetry was published in 1967. Through a career spanning over five decades, he wrote numerous poems and published over 60 books. He was one of the major surrealist poets in our country. Major themes in his poetry and writings include love, admiration, romance, liberal humanism, human relations, romanticism, democracy, religious fundamentalism and more.
About the bard, noted poet Mohammad Samad said, Mannan was unquestionably one of the multitalented personalities in Bengali literature. He wrote poems, essays, prose, short stories, novels, plays, travelogues and more. He translated and edited many books. His poems are symbolic and surrealistic."
Internationally acclaimed Bangladeshi poet Aminur Rahman said, "As an experimental poet, he frequently changed his technique and content. He frequently used the metaphors of the moon, bird, panoramic beauty, soil, sea, shore, sky, clouds and water in his poetry. He was recognised for his noteworthy research works on Jibanananda Das and Kazi Nazrul Islam"
Mannan regularly contributed to "Konthoshor", one of the noteworthy literary journals in the '60s. Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed edited the journal. He also conducted research on Rabindranath Tagore, Manik Bandopadhyay, Syed Waliullah, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Ishwar Chandra Gupta and other iconic litterateurs.
The poet's notable works are "Satyer Mato Badmash", "Janmandho Kobita Guchcho", "Park Street-e Ek Rattir", "Kobita Company Private Limited", "Machh Series", "Cholo Jai Porokhey", "Chhondo", "Rabindranath" and others.
The poet received several honours including the prestigious Bangla Academy Award, Ekushey Padak and Alaol Literary Award for his contribution to Bengali literature.