GUWAHATI, Aug 8 - �Poems can express certain things and tell certain tales that even stories and novels cannot express. In poetry, the length does not matter, but the content and the message greatly do. During an analysis of the contemporary Assamese poetry, it can be safely asserted that our poets have always strived to maintain a healthy flow and have been able to find a direction to maintain that flow in future as well.�
Critic and educationist Dr Bibhash Choudhury made this positive analysis of the trend of contemporary Assamese poetry, while delivering the Chandra Prasad Saikia Memorial Lecture at the Kanaklal Barua Auditorium of the Assam State Museum today.
The lecture is organised annually on issues of literary importance in memory of literary stalwart CP Saikia, who was the founder editor of monthly literary magazine Gariyoshi.
Speaking on modern Assamese poetry, specifically in the context of the 21st century, Dr Choudhury said that, inspired by doyens like Nilamani Phukan and Hiren Bhattacharyya, the young brigade of Assamese poets has continued a healthy trend in Assamese poetry.
�While poets like Anubhav Tulasi have set a standard for others, the works of Manoj Barpujari, Rajib Barua, Sananta Tanti, Jiban Narah and Kalimuddin Ahmed among others have also won hearts and have accelerated the pace of poetry in Assam,� he said.
Outlining the incorporation of modernism in Assamese poetry, he said along with memories and discourses, an intellectual and modern outlook has also found space in Assamese poems. �We speak of modern characteristics of Kushal Dutta�s poems rich with visual imaginations or we can look at the works of Bijoy Shankar Barman and Sameer Tanti who make the strange look familiar through their poems,� he said, further lauding Assamese poetry for not giving emphasis on propagandist style, which finds much space in the West and even in Indian poetry to some extent.
Eminent litterateur and editor of Gariyoshi Lakshmi Nandan Bora in his presidential remarks also praised Assamese poetry for setting examples of high standards even in the national arena.
Reminiscing about CP Saikia, Dr Bora said that as a successful editor of Gariyoshi, he inspired and sometimes also compelled the writers to produce quality work. �Gariyoshi was like an obsession of his life and he made every attempt to maintain its standard, a legacy, which we are honour-bound to carry forward,� he said.
The programme started with a soulful rendition of Dr Bhupen Hazarika�s song Manuhe Manuhor Baabe by Kamal Kataki and Asha Kataki. Floral tributes were paid to CP Saikia by his fans and admirers including his two daughters and other family members, director of The Assam Tribune Group of Publications Babita Rajkhowa, senior journalist JP Saikia and several other prominent persons from the cultural and literary fields.
The welcome speech was delivered by journalist Ankur Deka. An interactive session was also organised at the end of the session.