Sudhindranath Dutta

(30 October 1901 - 25 June 1960 / Varanasi, United Provinces / British India)

Biography of Sudhindranath Dutta

Sudhindranath Dutta poet

Sudhindranath Dutta was a Bengali kayastha Indian post-modern poet, essayist, journalist and critic. Sudhindranath is one of the most notable poets after the Tagore-era in Bengali literature.

Early Life and Education

Sudhindranath Dutt was born in Veranasi aslo known as Kashi, a city of United Provinces in Brithish India. He went to the Theosophical High School in Varanasi between 1914 and 1917, and later attended the Oriental Seminary in Kolkata. Later, in 1922, he graduated in English from the Scottish Church College. He later studied law at the Law College (1922–1924), while also simultaneously preparing for his finals for an MA in English literature from the University of Calcutta. However, he never completed a degree (MA or a law degree) in either subject.


Born to renowned lawyer Hirendranath Dutta & Indumati Vasu Mallik (sister of Raja Subodh Chandra Vasu Mallik), he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But however he failed to complete his degrees, and decided to prepare for attorneyship under his father. He completed that neither. He married Chhabi Basu in 1924.

He started publishing Parichay, a literary magazine which heralded his philosophy, in 1931 and carried on with the job till 1943, when he left following ideological battle with his associates, but supplied funds nevertheless. He was also associated with Sabuj Patra, another noted literary magazine of the era, which was edited by eminent story-writer of the era, Pramatha Chaudhury. He also worked as a journalist for The Statesman from 1945-1949. He was also associated with the daily The Forward, then edited by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, as the organ of All India Forward Bloc. He had also worked for several companies such as Light of Asia Insurance Company from 1930–1933, ARP from 1942–1945, DVC from 1949–1954, and Institute of Public Opinion from 1954-1956. He worked as a part-time lecturer of Comparative Literature in Jadavpur University from 1956-1957. In 1957, he left for his final foreign trip and toured Japan and Europe before moving to United States of America to join University of Chicago to write his autobiography in English. However he left the lucrative job midway and returned home to rejoin Jadavpur University to resume his classes of Comparative Literature, which he continued till his death.


He died in Kolkata in his 58th year.


Sudhindranath Dutta believed that hard work is what is needed for creating art, and the embattled nature of his poetry contrasted with that of the romantic poetry of Jibanananda Das. When Jibanananda Das's poetry notebooks were printed, Dutt commented after seeing the great number of corrections and deletions in the notebooks "Oh, then the natural poets are also unnatural poets, like me!"

Perhaps his most famous line is the widely quoted one from his poem Utpakhi (The ostrich):
"Does hell fail to let loose because you're blind?"

Sudhindranath Dutta's Works:

Collected Poetry

Tanvi(1930), M.C.Sarkar & Sons
Orchestra(1935), Bharati Bhavan
Krandashee(1937), Bharati Bhavan
Uttar Falgunee (1940), Parichay Press
Sangbarto (1953) Signet Press
Pratiddhani (1954) Signet Press
Dashamee (1956) Signet Press.

Collected Essays

Svagato (1938), Bharati Bhavan
Svagato (1957) New changed version from Signet Press
Kuaye O Kaalpurush, (1957), Signet Press.

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If I never return to earth
I shall walk down this lane once more
And see the gateway in the delicate sunshine
And by its side the scarlet iris;
The closely tended flowers, the yellow and fresh blue
There, and the deep green carpet of the grass will rest my eyes.
Whose house, who lives there, these I shall not know -—
But the eager pain of springtime in the farer's lonely breast,
Will fill, in the restful quiet that trembles with the piano

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