Mystical and sensual images created by Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore in his poems have always attracted European readers and researchers, said German translator and Tagore researcher Martin Kampchen at a programme held on Wednesday at Bengal Boi in Lalmatia.
To European readers these qualities in Tagore’s poems appear unusual and original. ‘The constant play on the identity of love of God and love of Woman, and the yearning to go forever beyond on to a transcendental plane, have been given a fascinating poetic shape by Tagore in his poems’, said Kampchen.
The Shantiniketan-based German translator and researcher delivered a solo lecture at the event.
The lecture was organised by Bengal Publications, which presented the first Jibanananda-Vumenda Guha research award to Dhaka University Bengali department professor Syed Mohammad Shahed for his research work Natun Charyapada at the programme.
The programme was attended by, among others, professor emeritus Anisuzzaman and Bengal Foundation chairman Abul Khair.
Kampchen recalled his first encounter with Tagore’s works in 1976 in Kolkata where he was working as a German language teacher.
‘One of the students presented me a copy of Tagore’s original Gitanjali and I promised him that one day I would read this book. I kept my promise and learnt Bengali eventually’, said Kampchen.
‘I moved to Santiniketan in 1979. Earlier, I had read the English Gitanjali and some other books of Tagore and was charmed by them. But I did not know back then that Rabindranath Tagore and his works would soon become an important part of my life, said Kampchen, who has published acclaimed translations of Tagore’s poems and a research work on the poet’s visit to Germany.
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