He taught at many colleges but was never granted tenure. He settled in Kolkata after the partition of India. Das died on 22 October , eight days after being hit by a tramcar. Some deem the accident as an attempt at suicide. Most of his work were hidden,  and only seven volumes of his poems were published. Poetry and life are two different outpouring of the same thing; life as we usually conceive it contains what we normally accept as reality, but the spectacle of this incoherent and disorderly life can satisfy neither the poet's talent nor the reader's imagination
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Despite a severe illness as a child he attended Brojomohon School and completed his studies succesfully, leaving in with good grades. He went on to Brajamohan College and was equally succesful before moving on to University in Calcutta where he studied English literature, graduating in He went on to complete his M.
The first of the published in his lifetime. Bangla Kabya Paeichay. By the latter years of his life Das was constantly in demand at literary conferences, poetry readings, radio recitals etc. On 14th October , he was hit by a tram whilst crossing the road on his way home.
Opinion is divided as to whether this was an accident or suicide. Despite every effort he died 8 days later on 22nd October A collection of his poems won the Indian Sahitya Akademi Award in My poems 10 Titles list. Everyone is going to take advantage of everyone else and Thereby get to heaven ahead of all. Many must be out of breath, but A couple or even one person may buy, through deceiving many, The house and furniture on auction-or even all the things That aren't up for sale. In this world, interest accrues: but not for everyone.
Indescribable bank notes in the hands of one or two persons. And these high-ranking persons of the world demand And take everything, even women. The rest of mankind, like profuse leaves of late autumn in darkness, Wish to fly off toward a river somewhere, or toward the ground- and mix in with some germinating seed of the earth.
Even knowing that many births have been destroyed, still The proprietress must take possession of the familiar waters, partial light, When again she returns in the smell of sunshine, in immortality of dust, grass, flowers: And considering this, they blend into the darkness. They disappeared then dead. The dead never return to this world. Are the dead nowhere; are they somewhere? It seems the dead are nowhere except in the hearts of peaceful men pacing some November path; In that case, it would be well calmly to enjoy Light, food, sky, and woman somewhat before death.
Thousands of Bengali villages, silent and powerless, sink into hopelessness and lightlessness. When the sun sets, a certain lovely haired darkness Comes to fix her hair in-a bun-but by whose hands?
But it remains loose and flowing as she gazes out-but for whom? There are no hands-no person anywhere; one of the thousand Bengali village Nights, smiling, like a picture on some scroll, some floral decoration, Had almost become a beautifully wife-eyed woman; then all was extinguished.
Over there in the field on a moonlight night the peasants used to dance, After drinking strange rice wine, prior to the wedding of a boatman with the little goddess daughter of a low-caste fisherman- And after the marriage-and before the birth of their child.
And those children today are nearly trampled to death In the exhausted, ignorant crowded human community of this age's evil nation-states; the great grandfathers of all these present Village children have laughed, played, and loved-and now gone to sleep In darkness after raising permanently the zemindars' hook-swinging tree.
They were not much better then; still, Compared with the blind and tattered village beings of today's famines and riots and sorrows and illiteracy, They were the inhabitants of some separate, obvious world. Is everything today hazy?
It is now difficult to think clearly; The rule is to keep everyone informed with half-truths in darkness; And then alone in that darkness it has become the practice To surmise the other half of the truth; and everyone Looks at everyone else out of the corner of his eye.
The inner thoughts of creation are-enmity. The inner thoughts of creation: the dragging of a shadow of our doubts over our sincerity and thus bringing us pain.
We see a fountain of water gush forth from nature's Mountains and stones and then we gaze into our hearts And see that because the first water is red with the blood of the slain, The tiger is still today chasing after the deer; I have killed man-my body is filled with his Blood; I am the brother of this fallen brother On the paths of the world; he considered me his younger brother Yet the heart hardened and he felled me, and I lie Sleeping beside the bloody swells in this river, having slain The ignorant one who was like an elder sibling-burying their heads In his narrow chest, they appeal to all who Have taken the affectionate vow of life, Yet since there is no light anywhere, they sleep on.
They sleep on. The sounds that arise in the stream of the sun's light, In the titillated bodies of these particles, in the collision of these particles, There time, in the music of its incomparable voice, Speaks; to whom does it speak?
Yasin, Makbul, Sasi Suddenly came near and before saying anything Spoke at length as if from the interior of a half-fragmented eternity; yet- Eternity is not fragmented; thus that dream, effort, speech Have vanished within the unfragmented eternity; There is no one, nothing-the sun has gone out.
In this age there's much less light everywhere, however. We have now squeezed out a value from the fabricated stories About dignity of thought, determination, mistakes, pain, work, tales of this world's many days and collected it In sentence, word, language, and incomparable style of speech. Man's language, however, is merely an exercise if it does not receive light From outside of immediate experience; attributes; a skeleton of Scattered helpless words far distant from knowledge.
In this age nowhere is there any light-no gracious light Before the eyes of the travelers; nothing like the mother of Radiated dark night: washing away all faults of man's overwhelmed body-of man's overwhelmed mind, Hidden in the solitary darkness, devoid of human gatherings No one is asked any more-answers to previously Asked questions arc no longer wanted-simply surrounded by noiseless, Deathless darkness, all faults, weariness, fear, mistakes, sins Become passionless-this life gradually becomes devoid of sorrow, A refreshing cool fills the heart; as though at the edges of the direction-marked Sea, beloved voices of wind come merging Into several devadaru trees-that incessant, sure-flowing wind Upon the bloody soul of man-man's life is without stain.
Today is there not in this world such a pervasive darkness? Is there no sweet breeze, no profundity, no purity? Yet man, as he turns from the blind state of adversity toward soothing darkness, From darkness toward the celebration of his new cities and villages Where degradation has not set in even today-an area of self- awareness, Transcending the sources of error and sin in his heart, Does remain, it seems to me.
Come forward, oh knowledge, humility, unclouded vision, peace, light, love. Sensation Bodh Into the half light and shadow I go. Within my head Not a dream, but some sensation is at work. Not a dream, not peace, not love, Inside my heart a sensation is born. I cannot escape it For it places its hand in mine, And all else pales to insignificance-futile so it seems. All thought, an eternity of prayer, Seems empty. Who can go on like the simple folk?
Who can pause in this half light and darkness Like the simple people? Who can speak Like them, anymore? Who can know For certain anymore? And sows seeds like everyman anymore? Where is that relish? And who, hungry for harvest, Has smeared himself with the scent of earth, Has anointed himself with the scent of water, Has gazed toward light with rapt attention, Has gained a peasant heart, Who would any longer remain awake upon his earth? Not a dream-not peace-but some sensation is at work Within my head.
When I walk along the beach, or cross from shore to shore I try to ignore it. I seize it as I would a dead man's skull And wish to smash it on the ground. Yet it spins like a living head All around my head, All about my eyes, All about my chest.
I move, it too comes along with me. I stop- It too comes to a halt. As I take my place among other beings Am I becoming estranged and alone Because of my mannerisms? Is there just an optical illusion?
Are there only obstacles in my path? Those who were born to this world As children, Those who spent their time Giving birth to children, or those who must give birth to children Today, or those who come to the sown fields of this world, For to give birth-to give birth- Is not my heart Like theirs, their heart and head? Is not their mind Like my mind? Then why am I so alone? Yet I am all alone. Did I not raise my hand to see it hold a peasant's plough?
Have I not drawn water in a pail? Have I not often gone with sickle to the fields? How many wharfs and rivers have I been to Like those who fish? Algae from a pond, the smell of fish Engulfed my body. My life has flowed Like unchecked winds. My mind slept as I lay beneath the stars one day.
All these desires I knew once-unchecked-unbounded. Then I left them all behind. I have looked upon woman with love. I have looked upon woman with apathy. I have looked upon woman with hate. She has loved me, And come near. She has paid no heed to me. She has despised me and gone away when I called her time and again, Loving her. Yet it was actually practiced one day-this love.
I paid no attention to her words of contempt, No attention to the wrath of her hate, And went my own way. I have forgotten That star-the sinister influence of which Blocked my path of love over and over again. Still, this love-this dust and mud. Within my head Not a dream, not love, but some sensation is at work. I leave all gods behind And come close to my heart- I speak to this heart.
Why does it mumble to itself alone like churning waters? Is it never weary? Does it never have a moment's peace? Will it never ever sleep? Will it not enjoy just Resting calmly? This sensation-only this desire What does it gain, immense-profound? Does it not wish to leave the beaten paths And seek the starry span of the sky? Has it vowed To look upon that man's face?
When Jibanananda translated his own poems
After his tragic death in a road accident in , it has been discovered that Das wrote several novels and a large number of short stories, and his critics say that he was compelled to suppress many of his notable literary works due to his immensely introvert nature. The splendor of love too, is erased eventually, As the star dies its inevitable death. Does it not? He asked, glancing at his mistress.
Jibanananda Das: Translated by Lopamudra Banerjee
Jibanananda Das was a Bengali poet, writer, novelist and essayist. Dimly recognized during his lifetime, today Das is acknowledged as the premier poet of post-Tegorian literature in India and Bangladesh. Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets. A pretty princess she It was heard: to the post-mortem cell he had been taken; last night—in the darkness of Falgoon-night When the five-night-old moon went down—
When Jibanananda translated his own poems Abdus Selim. Aparna Sen recites rare poetry from home. Jibanananda Fair starts in Barisal. Bengali poetry Jibanananda Das Abdus Selim.