(Last Updated on : 28-03-2013)
Assamese Poetry in Post Jonaki Era witnessed the emergence of many poets who produced explicit creations. Assam majestically conjures before mortal eyes an ideal idea of duality: on one hand the lust green tea gardens and on the other hand ceaseless ethnic strife. The modernity in Assam; introduced by the British clan is one of Colonial modernity which instigated several cultural and political projects in the region such as the politics of identity formation. Jonaki era
in literature of Assam points towards these juxtapositions owing to the fact that art imitates life and poetry as well as literature reflects society. The tumults, the events, the colours of the moments of agitation are recorded; not through the focal point of the dewy glasses of history but with an empathetic worldview to understand, to interpret, to drown in the abysmal depths in order to hit the bulls eye. Yet the poet worships the nature, glorifies mother earth, ushering in the affluence of a new era as the Jonaki (firefly) cult enlightens the poetic plethora, like a mystic polestar amidst the stormy horizons of Assam.
Raghu Chaudhury had expressed many moods and sensations and found most fitting words to express them have succeeded in broadening the range of Assamese poetry. Chaudhury is a poet of joy who calls upon nature, birds and flowers to share human delight and contribute to it the essence of pantheism. The poems Ketaki and Dahikatara are written in perfect joyous mood. In Bahagir biya, the poet is in an ecstatic mood over the prospect of spring the season of fruitfulness and joyous manifestations of exotic cornucopia. The essence of his nature poetry which is evident from Golap and Girirnallika, offers excessive joy. His naturalism is dictated by passion-oriented religion. The gleams of earth, sky, water and vegetation, the changes of season and the beauty of alternating landscape inspires his poetry. He has developed a distinctive literary style. His poetical works are Sadari (1910), Ketaki (1918), Karhala (1923) and Dahikatara (1931).
Ambikagiri Rai-Chaudhury's poetry is vibrant with mystic and patriotic aspects. He owes much to his contact with the metaphysics and mysticism of The Gita
and Vaishnava literature
. Rai-Chaudhury's Tumi opens with a deep description of the beloved's body. While romantic mysticism invigorates his poetic endeavour, Chaudhury is even apt with his jingoistic zeal. He is an apostle of patriotism who instils courage into readers. His works are Anubhuti, Veen, Bandoki chhandare and Sthapan kar sthapan kar.
Jatin Duara (1892-1964) whose poetic career grew under the patronage of a journal called Banhi records emotional despair of angst ridden mortal life. He owes much to Shelley and Tennyson as to Omar Khayyam
and Rabindranath Tagore
. Sunya parichoi is a confession of a man who makes the romantic soul an object of his analysis. In Duara's nawaria group of poems his desire to drift with stream like a forlorn soul is visible. His doctrine of love is passionate. Duara is known for his melodious verse than for his sentiments. His famous publications include Omartirtha (1925), Apon sur (1938), Banaphul (1952), Milanasar sur (1960) and so on.
Nalini Devi is a mystical poet. There is a predominance of faith in her inspiration. She turns to the spiritual world for her themes. The central theme of Paramtrishna, one of her best poems, is immortality of the soul. Her poetry possesses a kind of symbolism. A ceaseless pining of the soul is the theme of her poem Sosa ne. Her poetry is noted for a spiritual absolutism.
Ratna Barkakati (1897-1963) was a poet of serene vision who never fumbled with ague imageries. His major works include Sewali (1932), Prakash badha, Taj Mahal. A pleasant quest and brightness of colour and sound are visible in his poems. He has a suggestive and restrained style. His love-poetry is above all aspiration and desire. Viswa-haran is one of his best love-lyrics. Tarpan is also one of his most important works.
Dr. S. K. Bhuyan (1894-1964) published his collection of poems Nirmali in 1918. In Saundarya, nature is portrayed as a maiden against the sky. Prakritir santan is a myth poetic description of a child reared in harmony with nature. In Sukhdukh, he renounces the pessimistic view of life. His other popular poems include Apon sur, Utala, Tipam deka, Asam gaurov.
Durgeswar Sarma is a poet of mystic and philosophic thought. Sarma's collections of poems are called Anjali and Nivedan. Dandi Kalita, Rah-ghora, Ragar and Bahurupi are his other collections. These are satirical poems.
Dimbeswar Neog's produced poems of great strength and beauty like Sapamukta. This poem presents a myth poetic conception of nature. Here the poet accepts the rejuvenation of nature as a symbol. Neog's Maram bhikhari is a poem of idyllic beauty. His Mukuta is a collection of 14 sonnets. Neog's other works are Malika (1922), Thupitara (1925), Malati (1927), Shahide Karbala (1940), Meghdut (1942), Bichitra, Thapana (1948) and so on.
Sailadhar Rajkhowa (1892-1968) is noted for spontaneity of thought. Besides Barpeta and Bisandoi ali, his Pasan pratima is a patriotic song of great appeal. It is considered as a war-poem. Rajkhowa's Humar kasat is an apostrophe to "wedded love". It is a poem noted for its tribute to beauty.
Nilmani Phukan is a poet cum politician. He has imported into poetry the peculiar excellence of prose. His poems like Bhikahu, Dukhiram are full of passionate sympathy for socially oppressed people. Jyotikona is one of his famous collections of sonnets.
Many other poets whose contributions were noteworthy include Binanda Barua, Mitradev Mahanta, Atul Hazarika, Daiba Talukdar, Ananda Barua , J. P. Agarwalla , Padmadhar Chaliha, and Prasannalal Chaudhury , Gonesh Gogoi's. Among other poets of the thirties and the mid- forties mention may be made of Sashi Gogoi, Bhabanath Hazarika, Bhabananda Rajkhowa, Dulal Barpujari ,Bhabaprasad Rajkhowa, Thaneswar Hazarika, M. N. Deka-Phukan and Deva Barua.