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Friday 30 March 2012

Michael Madhusudan Dutta : Great Forgotten Poet of Bengal


Michael Madhusudan Dutta (Bengali Poet and dramatist):
Madhusudan Dutta was born in Sagardari Village Near Kopotaksha river of Jessore District (Now in Bangladesh ) in the year 1824  January 25 (according bengali calendar Date Saturday, 12 Magh 1230).

His father was Rajnarayan Dutt, an eminent lawyer, and his mother was Jahnabi Devi. He was a pioneer of Bengali drama. His famous work Meghnad Bodh Kavya (Bengali: মেঘনাদবধ কাব্য), is a tragic epic. It consists of nine cantos and is exceptional in Bengali literature both in terms of style and content. He also wrote poems about the sorrows and afflictions of love as spoken by women.

Throughout his life he was very much influenced by and love his mother Jahnabi Debi and the Beauty of Kopotaksha River. He Confessed this throughout his writings. He  loved to hear the story of Ramayana and Mahabharata from his Mother during his early childhood.

Early Education:
He was studied in Junior Section (Now Hindu School) of Great Hindu College of Calcutta.
During his school days he had many friends like Bhudeb Mukherjee, Gourdas Basak, Bholanath Chandra. He got stripend to  continue his study for his oustanding merit . He also got Gold Medal for his Eassy on the subject of "Women Education" in the year 1842.

He had to discontinue his study from Hindu Collage after he changed his religion into Chirstinity in the year 1843 ,February 9 from Misssion Church at Mission Row Calcutta. On 1844 he again continue his study in Bishop`s Collage. In the year 1862 He was gone to England to  study the Law. He then return back to his country in 1867 in the month of February as a Law Barrister and started his career in Calcutta High Court. He was rescuded with moneytery help by the Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar  during the time of intense poverty during his Europe Study.

Life and Works:
From an early age, Dutt aspired to be an Englishman in form and manner. Born to a Hindu landed-gentry family, he converted to Christianity as a young man, to the ire of his family, and adopted the first name Michael. In later life he regretted his attraction to England and the Occident. He wrote ardently of his homeland in his poems and sonnets from this period.
Dutt is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets in Bengali literature and the father of the Bengali sonnet. He pioneered what came to be called amitrakshar chhanda (blank verse). Dutt died in Kolkata, India on 29 June 1873.

Tomb of Michael Madhusudan Dutt

Poem Inscribed in The tomb of Michael Madhusudan Dutta  which was written by Him.
List of His Works:
List of his Dramas and Plays:

1) Sarmistha (Published 1859 month of January) : This is  mythological play on the King Yayati (Tale from Mahabharata) and Sarmistha. This Play wwas translated into English by the poet himself later.

2) Padmavati ( Published 1860)

3) Krishnakumari (Published 1861)

4) Mayakanon ( Published 1874)

Eassey on the Social Subjects:

1) Ekey Ki Boley Shabhatya (Published 1860)

2) Buro Shalikher Gharey Row (Published 1860)


1) Tillottomma Kabya (Published 1860 Month of May)  Was written on Amritrakhar composition.  Sonnet based on  the life of an Angel ( Beautiful Dancer of Heaven) of ancient Indian Mythology named Tillottomma (Paragon Heavenly Beauty).

2) Meghnad-Badh Kabya (Published 1861) was written Beatiful Amitra composition. Sonnet based on Sad end of Meghnad ( Son of Ravana in Ramayana) by the Laxmana ( Brother of Lord Rama) in the Nikumbhila Temple  during praying ritual with holy Agni or Fire (This ritual Known as Jagya) by the Meghnad for the victory aganist Lord Rama.

First Two Pages of Meghnad Badh Kabya

3) Brajangana Kabya 

4) Birangana Kabya , based on letters written by the Great Women in Hindu  Mythology to their Lovers, Husband and kings

Collection of fourteen lined Poems  known as Charurdas-Das Padi Kobita was publised 1866, 1st August when he was in Europe.

Novel :

1) Hector Badh was published in unfinished form in the year 1871, 1st September. He tried to translate the Illiad by great Homer in Greek Literature into Bengali language.

Poem Inscribed in The tomb of Michael Madhusudan Dutta  which was written by Him


  1. A truly talented man who is still mostly unknown. I know he will never be famous and will ultimately be forgotten in the long run of History, but trust me, he was , according to me, the best writer Bengal and Bengali Literature ever had, even Rabindranath Tagore did not dare to copy his style! Plus, anyone who knows his biography must know what kind of personality he held. No doubts that he was a really great poet, who was not inclined towards making and preserving his career , but loved to write and did so. May his Soul rest in peace. May the same thing happen which he wishes in the poem Bongobhumir proti, may his motherland remember him... Although I must admit its highly unlikely considering what modern world and modern India is becoming... But I know, a handful of the true lovers of literature will always embrace his writings and remember him.

  2. Michael was a genius unparalleled in Bengali literature. Nobody dare come close to his erudition and class in composition and rendering of bengali literature with a new dimension.

  3. I heard he used to dictate three person writing simultaneously his three poems

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