On writing poetry

I remember those days when I used to write poems in Bangla. In my college days. I also had a notebook for writing poetry. When I was in class xi, I lost the note book that had many unpublished poems. Someone actually stole it. I got unimaginably depressed. A very bad thing happened after that. I was slowly losing my eagerness to write poems.
I thought it happens to almost every Bengali wanting to write poems. They say all Bengalis, living or dead, were poets at some point of their lives. Some like that happened to me as well.
Life went on for me, for the world around me. But the thought of writing poems didn’t go away. Always felt the urge to express my overflow of emotions.
It happened 25 years later when I really felt I shouldn’t wait any more. Enough time for bottling up emotion and not expressing them.
First, I wrote two poems. Both in 2008.
Poems written by me would naturally seem good to me. I’ll always feel good about it. But I won’t be sure about it. I won’t be sure until someone comments on the poem.
This is quite interesting! Very.
The opportunity to show the poem to two noted poets of Bangladesh came quite soon. I showed the poem to Asad Chowdhury and Fazal Shahabuddin. Shahabuddin was highly impressed. So was Chowdhury. Both of them asked me not stop writing. “You must continue writing. I felt great.
To get another opinion, I sent it to one of my closest friends, who’s also an innovative poet, Abul Hasnat Milton. He praised it, saying “it’s very good for a start.”
That did it for me. I was inspired.
But the blow came from Maruf Raihan, another well-known young poet. Raihan runs an online Bangla literary magazine. Bangla Mati.
When I met Raihan, he asked me to write anything for his magazine.
Inspired by previous comments on my poem, I emailed it to Raihan. I reply came: “Shudhu kolom chalaley’i ki kobita lekha jai?”
Wow! I felt the slap on my face. My heart sank but it didn’t frustrate me. I looked for Raihan’s books. I found one. I started monitoring newspapers, started buying special literary issues published by newspapers. Voraciously read Bangla poems, including that of Maruf Raihan’s.
Gathered a lot of experience on reading and writing. Some were excellent; some passable; some trash. But most of the poems that I saw published by newspapers couldn’t evoke the emotion in me I was looking for. But these poems are being published.
The point is: who’d decide on a certain poem? Who’d comment on a poem whether it was good or bad? Me? Renowned poets? Analysts? Critics? My friends? Editors? Raihan?
I guess there’s no specific authority to give judgement on the quality of a poem. The writer should focus on his/her own feelings – how did he/she feel while writing poetry.
I got my blow all right, but I don’t think I’m going to stop here. I’ll continue writing poetry. And show them to everyone that I mentioned about.

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