Kolkata is popularly known as cultural capital of India. Bengalis have excelled and left their mark in every field be it films, music, literature or theatre.
But it is poetry that touches the heart of every person. Listed below are the 7 famous Bengali poets whose words are forever etched in our hearts and have become more than legends:
1. Rabindranath Tagore
Born in then Calcutta, Rabindranath Tagore started writing poetry when he was just 8-years-old. His writings include fiction in the form of poetry, stories, songs and dramas. Though Tagore originally wrote in Bengali but later he started writing in English to reach out to the West. He also won Noble Prize in Literature for Gitanjali in the year 1913.
2. Shakti Chattopadhyay
Shakti Chattopadhyay was born in Baharu village (now South 24 Parganas district) in West Bengal. The Bengali poet and writer established Pragati Library in 1949 and also started a hand-written magazine. In 1983, Chattopadhyay was awarded with the Sahitya Akademi Award for his collection of entitled 'Jete Pari Kintu Kêno Jabo' (I can go but why?).
3. Sunil Ganguly
Sunil Ganguly (also known as Sunil Gangopadhyay) was a Bengali poet and novelist. Born in Faridpur (now in Bangladesh), Ganguly was the creator of Bengali fictional character Kakababu and wrote a series of detective novels on the character. It became hugely popular among children. In 1985, the poet also received Sahitya Akademi award for his novel Those Days (Sei Samaya). Ganguly used the pen names Nil Lohit, Sanatan Pathak and Nil Upadhyay.
4. Shankha Ghosh
Shankha Ghosh is a Bengali poet and critic who was born on February 6, 1932. Ghosh's poems are perfect examples of quality of proportion, grace and depth. He is also regarded a leading authority on Rabindranath. Ghosh is the recipient of awards including Narasimh Das Puraskar, 1977; Kumaran Asan Prize, 1982; Rabindra Puraskar, 1989; Kamalkumari Award, 1993, Saraswati Samman, 1998, Sahitya Akademi Award, 1977.
5. Nirendranath Chakraborty
Popular contemporary poet, Nirendranath Chakraborty is well known for his translation of Tintin in Bengali. In the year 1974, Chakraborty was awarded with the Sahitya Academy Award for the book of poems Ulanga Raja (The Naked King). His poetry includes Nil Nirjan, Andhokar Baranda, Prothom Nayok and Somoy baro kom, among others.
6. Kabita Sinha
Poet, novelist and radio director, Kabita Sinha is well known for her modernist stance, rejecting the traditional housebound role for Bengali women. Her style of work was later followed by other poets including Mallika Sengupta and Taslima Nasrin. Sinha's first volume of poetry 'sahaj sundarI' (easy beauty), was published in 1965. The 1976 collection kavitA paramesvarI (poetry goddess) also became famous.
7. Joy Goswami
Considered as one of the most important poets of his generation, Joy Goswami was born in November 1954 in Kolkata. Goswami has received the Anita-Sunil Basu Award from the Bangla Academy, Govt of West Bengal the prestigious Ananda Purashkar in 1989 for Ghumiyechho, Jhaupata? (Have you slept, Pine leaf?) and the Sahitya Akademi Award, 2000 for his anthology Pagali tomara sange(With you, O crazy girl).