History of Assamese Poetry
Sanskrit literature has inspired many writers of modern Assamese literature to undertake creative writings in the context of modern literary trends and styles. Assamese Literature starting with poetry in Sanskrit was mainly devotional in tone and tenor. Since all the adaptations are being rooted in Sanskrit. The starting of Assamese Poetry is marked with the adaptation from Sanskrit puranas into Assamese by the poet-scholar Hema Saraswati in the early 13th century. His first adaptation was Prahlad Charita adapted from Vamana Purana.
Development of Assamese Poetry
Assamese Poetry was of the devotional type in the very beginning. Later the adaptations got divided into two types – religious and secular. During the period of Vaishnavite revivalism, the secularism trend got into much demand. The Bhagavad Purana was considered to be the most important among all the puranas. Shankardeva (1449–1568), the initiator of the Bhakti movement, started the process of translating and adapting different books and episodes of Bhagavad Purana by rendering more books and composed a few kavyas basing on that. He was the introducer of Bargit, the most initial form of Assamese poems.
The Assamese Poets made poetry popular by presenting hard, concrete images to render the particulars exact and by avoiding vague generalities. They have drawn on images and symbols from the countryside, oral tradition and common experience. Nature and the countryside marginalised in the Assamese Poetry of the fifties. Some of the well-known Assamese Poets are as follows:
Nilmoni Phukan: Nilmani Phookan is an Assamese poet noted for his works that include Surya Henu Nami Ahe Ei Nodiyedi, Gulapi Jamur Lagna and Kobita.
Hiren Bhattacharyya: Hiren Bhattacharyya was one of the best known Assamese poet and lyricist. He had achieved many prizes and accolades for his poetry.
Nalinidhar Bhattacharya: Nalinidhar Bhattacharya was an Indian poet and literary critic from Assam. He was regarded as one of the important poets of the Jayanti era in Assamese literature.
Lakshminath Bezbaroa: Lakshminath Bezbaroa was a great Assamese personality and celebrated pioneer of modern Assamese literature. He was one of the literary stalwarts of the Jonaki Era in Assamese literature.
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