Khondakar Ashraf Hossain

(4 January 1950 - / Jamalpur / Bangladesh)

Biography of Khondakar Ashraf Hossain

Khondakar Ashraf Hossain poet

Khondakar Ashraf Hossain (Bengali: খোন্দকার আশরাফ হোসেন) is one of the leading poets, essayist and translator of Bangladesh. Born in Jamalpur, Bangladesh, in 1950, he was educated at University of Dhaka and Leeds University. Currently he is a professor of English at University of Dhaka. He published a number of collections of poetry and of essays in Bengali and English. Dr Hossain translates from Bangla to English and from German and English to Bangla. Dr. Hossain edits and publishes a literary magazine: Ekobingsha which was embarked by Hossain himself in 1985 with its main focus on the new poetry of Bangladesh.

Critical Reception

Khondakar Ashraf Hossain wrote a wide variety of poems in lucid language and with innovative and suggestive imagery. Expressions and eloquence in his poetry came out his successful, spontaneous incorporation of national and world heritage and mythology into his personal experience and feelings. Though he began to write when postmodernism was blooming fast in the west, he denies to identify himself as an avowed post-modernist. In his book On Behula's Raft's launch ceremony, he said about himself that "my soul is nourished by the alluvial soil and the moistures of riverine Bangladesh, which is my Behula". Fakrul Alam considered his poems "humorous and witty" in some cases. Syed Manzoorul Islam opined that Ashraf at his initial stage was a romantic poet, now he is a realistic poet as he is writing in a very self-conscious way. Hossain's love poems are characterised by stark realism rather than by romantic euphoria. Anisuzzaman deemed his poetry as the socio-political representation of Bangladesh. He explored not only contemporary social and political condition of his country but also "the grounds of existential philosophy in conceiving human life as fragile yet undying, as self-destructive yet eternal". His keen observation of the human condition led him to be a serious poet.

Khondakar Ashraf Hossain's Works:


Tin Ramanir Qasida
Partho Tomar Teebro Teer
Jibaner Saman Chumuk
Sundari o Ghrinar Ghungur
Jamuna Parba
Janmo Baul
Tomar Namey Brishti Namey
Aiona Dekhey Andha Manush


Nirbachito Kabita'
Kabita Samgraha
On Behula's Raft

Collections of Essays

Bangladesher kabita Antaranga Abalokan (A Study on Bangladeshi Poetry)
Chirayata Puraan (Classical Mythology)
Kabitar Antarjami
Adhunik Uttaradhunik o Annyanya
Prasango (Bangla Poetry in the contexts of Modernism, postmodernism and other trends)
Biswa Kabitar Sonali Shashya (Gleanings from World Poetry)
Modernism and Beyond: Western Influences on Bangladeshi poetry

Books of Prose

Romantic and Modern: Latitudes and Longitudes of Poetry


Selected Poems of Paul Celan
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
Medea by Euripides
Alcestis by Euripides

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Sorrow is a sitar that cuts the maestro's finger

just to test the sharpness of its strings;

Happiness is a lndlord, who has no room to let,

yet does not take down the TO LET sign;

Adversity is that big arch thru which you can see

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