Thursday, March 21, 2019 | ePaper

Poet Helal Hafiz

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Literature Desk :
Helal Hafiz (born 7 October 1948) is considered a true representative of poets of his generation having certain creative traits in an age when his nation and countries in the neighbourhood witnessed dramatic transitions particularly in the arena of politics. He won Bangla Academy Literary Award (2013).
Early life, education and career
On completion of his schooling and college studies at his hometown in northern Netrokona, Hafiz got himself enrolled at the University of Dhaka, at a time when it appeared as main centre of the brewing nationalist movement which eventually saw the 1971 emergence of independent Bangladesh. He is considered a true representative of the poets of his generation. He studied at Netrokona Datta High School, Netrokona College and University of Dhaka.
Hafiz earned the repute of being an established poet of verve, vigour and emptiness long ahead of the publication of his first collection of poems: Je Jole Agun Jwole (The water where fire is ignited) in 1986. It earned the best sellers status in Ekushey Book Fair of the year, discarding novels by popular writers who traditionally occupy the position in Bangladesh’s biggest annual book fair. Nishiddho Sompadokiyo (The Banned Editorial), one of his most quoted poems inspired at least two generations since the pre-independence nationalist upsurge of 1969 and pro-democracy campaigns in post independence periods.
Poetry
Hafiz never associated himself directly with any political activity but his famous verses Ekhon joubon jar juddhe jabar tar shreshtho somoy  (It’s the best time for one to go to war who is in his youth) was seen in wall writings, posters, leaflets and chanted in processions at university campuses and street side walls to inspire the youths to get prepared for the Liberation War against Pakistan. It returned as a popular slogan of student activists and left-leaning organisations during popular movements against military or autocratic rules in independent Bangladesh. But Hafiz, who appeared to be a sensitive man on questions of quality, visibly preferred a self-exile from the literary arena for years after the publication of the Je Joley Agun Jwole.
He explained his silence as the outcome of a sense of fright of losing popularity after the tremendous success that reached him to the peak of fame. Hafiz, however, gradually resumed his literary activities recently coming up with his Kobita Ekattor (Poems Seventy One) recently to make visible again his formidable presence in the literary arena while his third book is set to hit the bookstalls in few months.
A journalist by profession Hafiz eventually found the literature section of newspapers as his professional abode while he served as a literary editor of a number of newspapers over the past four decades. But the instability in the newspaper industry also threw him out of the job several times, exposing him to extreme difficulties.
A dichotomy of love of land and devotion to the lover is clearly visible in his poems but Hafiz finds a way toward a compromise projecting himself as a tender lover and rebel patriot as he wrote Rather today let us like the songs of Jahidur/Summon boshekh from the heart, bring in both lives /Do you know, Helen.
His fiery poems gave him an image of an angry protestor, but acquaintances find in him as a personality, a character more befitting for a poet of love. 

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