(Last Updated on : 04/09/2013)
Modern Assamese Poetry is an annulment of real life of the people. Assamese poetry of the forties registered a fresh departure which was visible in technique and subject-matter of Assamese contemporary poetry. Political and social absorption was a new resurgence in Assamese Poetry that drew poets away from the world of romantic dreams into the world of realism. This new trend in Assamese literature
made its appearance during the forties of this century under the patronage of a journal called Jayanti Era
. This poetry was critical, socially conscious and anarchic in technique and subject-matter.
This technique adopted with a cynically satirical vein has been brought to bear devastatingly upon the hollowness and hypocrisies lying concealed in the modern civilization. The new poets' wide range of studies of the East and the West, of the ancient and the modern was laid under contribution and hence quotations and references abound in their poetry. These quotations may come from such widely different sources as European literature, the Upanisad
s, Vaisnavite literature, or the Assamese folk songs. Often, the romantic tradition of Assamese poetry is held up to ridicule. But the poets do all this with a more positive aim. They want to administer to the educated and cultured section of the readers an emotional shock as do the psychiatrist to the neurotic patients in order to restore their mental equilibrium. The poets' shock consists of paradoxical and astounding statements of known facts in a kind of telescopic language. But unfortunately, very often, these learning-ridden, cryptic sentences produce very little emotion in the common reader.
Amulya Barua (1922-46) produced some notable poems like Kukur, Vashya and so on. He was the most outstanding of this generation of poets. This progressive poetry can be called revolutionary as it renounced an old tradition and discovered new frontiers of poetry. It was addressed to a specific purpose. However it failed to emerge into a comprehensive literary attitude. In an industrially backward State like Assam where conditions emerging out of industrial complexes were non existent it was impossible to create poetry of "the chisel and the roller".
The attitude to life and problems of the Pachuwa Ramdhenu group of poets was more positive and comprehensive than that of the Jayanti group. It was a modern equivalent of "occasional verse. The Jayanti poets lacked passionate faith in the cause they were supposed to promote. Their poetry was propaganda. A modern poet is not selfish and confined to his own self-imposed limitations.
Naba Barua's explored the subconscious and created poetry of a varied nature. His poetry is basically communication. Assamese poetry of the post-war period is free from psychological influence. The recent tendency in Assamese poetry is to make the objective more subjective and the subjective more objective. This interest has been stimulated by studies of Freud, Jung and Adler.
Symbolism, a French technique, was employed to explore the nominal world and discover meaning for the world of consciousness. Homen Bargohain
, Mahendra Bora, Dinesh Goswami and Nilmani Phukan
were interested in the sparkling of the human heart. The technique employed by all the three, except Bora was symbolist. However, this is the first authentic attempt to give Assamese poetry a new direction on the lines of French symbolist poetry.
The only poet of this generation who has held on to romantic poetry is Hari Barkataki. His poetry is romantic with a difference. This tendency was inherent in the poetry of Homen Bargohain, Mahendra Bora, Dinesh Goswami and Nilmani Phukan which marked a second wave of the romantic poetry. Notable Assamese poets of this generation are Keshav Mahanta, Nirmalprava Bardoloi, Bireswar Barua, Biren Barkataki, Sushil Sarma, Harekrishna Deka, Hiren Gohain, Nalini Bhatta, Bhagagiri Rai-Chaudhury, Gunabhi Chaudhury, Radhikamohan Bhagavati, Biren Bargohain, Hiren Bhatta, Ratna Oja, Amalendu Guha, Ravindra Bora, Saiduddin Ahmed, Anandeswar Sarma, Prafulla Bhuyan, Bhaben Barua and Benu Chiring.
Present-day Assamese poetry is marked by passion, music and precision. It is vibrant with a spirit of moral independence and social criticism. New values are on a rise. Assamese literature has produced good poets from the forties of this century to the present-day.