West indian literature

Bengali poet of Bengali literature Sarat Mukherjee dies aged 90

Bengali poet and writer Sarat Mukhopadhyay, a member of the group of post-modernist poets with Sunil Gangopadhyay and Shakti Chattopadhyay, died in the early hours of Tuesday after cardiac arrest.

Sarat Mukhopadhyay often wrote under the pseudonym “Trishanku” and was renowned for poems such as “To God” and “Birajamohan”. He had turned 90 on August 15.

He left behind his only son Sayan Mukhopadhyay. His wife Bijoya Mukhopadhyay, a Sanskrit scholar and poet, had died before him.

Mukhopadhyay was one of the post-modernist poets who broke into the literary world of Bengal and India with a new grammar and language for poetry, both modern and revolutionary at the time. The group shattered certain notions by embracing the lives of nonconformist subordinates.

He had studied in Glasgow and was a successful chartered accountant and corporate secretary before choosing to focus solely on his literary passion. Besides Chattopadhyay and Ganguly, he was a close friend of the writers Buddhadeb Guha and Dibyendu Palit.

An anthology of his poems has been translated into English under the title The cat under the stairs’ by Robert S MacNamara. Mukhopadhyay himself translated a number of Rabindra Tagore’s short stories.

A familiar figure in Bengali literary circles, Mukhopadhyay wrote with ironic humor and verbal frankness, which combined with a personal response to his environment and time, creating a sensitive poetry.

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