Medieval poet Alaol remembered

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Jun 15,2019


Guests pose for a photo at the programme. — Sourav Lasker

Poet Syed Alaol, one of the most influential poets of the medieval Bengali literature who earned the epithet ‘wise poet’ for his ability to fuse emotion with intellect in his works, was remembered at a programme held at Poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar Hall of Bangla Academy on Thursday.

The programme titled ‘Kobi Alaol Smorone Ekok Baktrita Anusthan’ was staged by the academy and featured a solo lecture followed by a discussion.

Professor Golam Mustofa delivered the lecture on life and works of the poet at the event, in which national professor Anisuzzaman was the chair. Bangla Academy acting director general Anwar Hossain delivered the welcome speech.

In his lecture, Professor Golam Mustofa contextualised works of Alaol, who had enriched medieval Bengali literature with his works such as Ragtalnama, Padmabati, Satimayana O Lorchandrani, Saptapaykar, Saifulmuluk Badiuzzamal and Sikandarnama.

‘Poet Syed Alaol enriched the medieval Bengali literature with his timeless creations. He wrote on diverse subjects. Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad referred to him as the Rabindranath Tagore of 17th century,’ said Golam Mustofa.

Ragtalnama, as the title suggests, is on music and is the only original writing apart from the songs penned by Alaol. His other works are all translations, though equally laden infused with the translator’s literary originality. Padmavati, considered to be his masterpiece, was written based on the Hindi Padmavat by Malik Mohammad Jayasi, Saptapaykar and Sikandarnama on the Persian Haft Paykar and Sikandarnama by Nizami Ganjavi and Tohfa on the Persian Tuhuf-e-Nasaih by Yusuf. Saifulmuluk Badiuzzamal was also based on a Persian text. While most of these works are in the nature of romances and tales, Tohfa is a didactic book.

‘Alaol possessed good command over language. He made significant contribution to Bengali language and literature. His translations, which contain many Hindi and Sanskrit words, enriched Bangla language by introducing new words,’ said Golam Mustofa.

‘Though Syed Alaol penned his poems during the 17th century, his works are still relevant today,’ said Anwar Hossain.

‘We can get a glimpse of his originality and poetic brilliance in his translation work Padmabati, one of his landmark creations,’ said Anisuzzaman.

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