Rabiul Hasan’s Poetry: An Inward Journey

Hamid Rayhan

This prose describes Rabiul Hasan’s poetry, one of the eminent poets of the contemporary epoch in English literature. The information is still relevant, but much more of his poetry, which provides detailed analysis of many of the poems in Madonna of the Rain, a collection of poetry of Rabiul Hasan.

Rabiul Hasan (born. 1951–) wrote only poetry, he would still be known today for the brilliance and imaginative accountability of his poetry. Over recent years, during his contemporary time, he breed some of the most remarkable poems in the current poetry era that not only sharpen the contexts of his poetry but also show the rapid evolution of his thoughts over a very short time, his poems yielded the spontaneous and frank observations of a poet: his insecurities, doubts, fears, enthusiasms, ambitions, prejudices, passions and opinions. But they also represent the mature reflections of a poet who thinks deeply about art, poetry and its essences, unfolded in art of life and inward ugliness, beauty and truth, and about suffering and the human condition which creates images within their juxtaposition. As defined William Wordsworth his and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s innovative poetry in his Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1798): “I have said before that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin in emotion recollected in tranquility; the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of reaction, the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was before the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exit in the mind.1 Their uniqueness arises from the surprising mixture of profound ideas that have become touchstones of aesthetic beauty with witty patches of quotidian convention and practice. His poetry is markedly different with the contemporary trends and tendencies, and after all relies less on metre and rhyme, and focuses more on biographical events and the everyday experiences of art of living.

Although his poetry isn’t written as a single line of verse, it has still a great appeal for its brilliance and imaginative vitality of his poetry to. Over the years, during his contemporary era, he produces some of the most remarkable poems in the contemporary poetry that not only sharpen the contexts of the readers’ conscience but also shows the rapid evolution of their thought. His poetry discharges the spontaneous and frank observations of the inward world of the human: his insecurities, doubts, fears, enthusiasms, ambitions, prejudices, opinions and romance. But they also represent the mature reflections of a poet who thinks deeply about poetry and its inward arena and about suffering and the human condition. Their uniqueness arises from the surprising mixture of profound ideas that have become touchstones of contemporary poetry with witty patches of quotidian conversation and gossip. Most of his poems have become so influential in critical circles that they are now recognized by conscience phrases. To the poet of this very fine, sensitive, thorough art of living experiences connecting extended critical reviews of the poet his poems, his friends, the times, the cross currents of appreciation and bitter responses from the poet’s individual comprehend, not unmixed with a competitive personal challenge, my deepest gratitude. Not only are the insights fair, they are incisive. The range provokes extended questions and thought. The difference reveals the excruciating pain that he must have experienced, which firmly seizes the images of his surroundings. He has as agitated a relation to time—particularly in respect to anticipation and the idea of the present—as he did to art of life and its  inward world. In assessing his poetic vision, in fact the both go together. This concerns the intersection of issues of mind and of time at the level of representation in his poetry and in his poetic journey.

Rabiul’s poetry focuses on representations of time—specifically the canon of his own poetic diction and his decidedly prospective imagination, in relation to contemporaneous American and his native country, the land always walking his mind biological transformations. Also, his poetry turns to the way in which issues of inward journey has become entangled with temporality in the poet’s poem to suggest a fairly linear progression from human weakness to life, a experiencing of maturity as is seen in his poetry. Finally, however, through an alignment of the poem “Checking on Barn at Night”, we  see how this poem reconfigures the letter’s spatial pattern of gendered development so as to interpret the historiographical problems of the age as at least partly grounded in questions of human mind and the process of subject-making. Superficially, modern poetry is simpler as rhyme and meter are emphasized less, we don’t get the grammatical torture of modern poets. Modern poetry more often adheres to free verse, meaning that the poetry tends to follow conventional grammar more closely. Though this unfashionable insight is hardly original it is an unusual formulation, reflecting the distinctive quality of human-mind. He understands, as do a few other poets of the contemporary, that there exists in a linear time of progress, progress here taken to be coextensive with improvement – morally, socially, technologically, economically and scientifically. A degree of uncertainty is present, to be sure, from the poem’s outset, in the ontological question of seeing or dreaming, but within the scenic encounter of love, the poet’s position seems relatively clear. The passion has become the poet’s mindscape; while his beloved appears notably absent, surely to indicate that his has assumed his male subject position as purest of passion temple, a position of love toward the goddess. But the poem’s closure suggests curiously otherwise:

“Tonight someone rolled the sky neatly into coat’s pocket,

Stars vanish, clouds no longer weep, grasses sweat no dew,

The space around a curtain of mirage time, dissolving.

I wait for someone, for two lurking eyes … my killers.

(The Death of Paris, Lines5-8)

Indeed the recognition the poems to some extent intimates is that for the poet of the present day there is no escape from shadowiness and subjectivity, that the effort to push further into the region of the unknown leads only to the perception of further passages and implications, that it results in a sense of ultimate inconclusiveness that is ironic, unsurprisingly at the extraordinary fullness.  His poem captivates us with sudden and dazzling flashes of mystery, passion and sucked experiences beyond the touch of reality with a resonant happiness that the poems reflect more fully on this point. His poetry is obsessed with reality and beyond. That is the ultimate source of his power as a poet. His congenial to the presence of the world that he perceives and portraits the world of his own: his impatience with imposture. It was his lonely task to remind us of this even as he set about coaxing us toward greater and greater feats of endurance that the masculine world he experiences every moment. He has as vexed a relation to time—particularly in respect to anticipation and the idea of the future—as he did to gender. In assessing his poetry, indeed the both go together. This lively idea concerns the intersection of issues of the world around him and of time at the level of representation in his poetry.  “the subject and the object of study-the reader and the text –are stable and independent forms, rather than products of the unconscious process of signification” 2

Rabiul’s poems are many-sided as well as pervading and don’t rest only on his achievement as a poet—though they are the poetry, that provided the ultimate imprimatur, the final sanction, for his authority. Other poems are for many readers’ irreplaceable mental furnishings. The realities they evoke is—the reality the poet seizes in his reasoning and mental faculty as an ineluctable challenge. Consider the following verses abstracted from several poems:

  1. field heavy with muffled sound,”
  2. “The sun is the moon is an embroiled quilt over my head,”
  • “the gapingclouds/glide past the glittering moon,”
  1. Stiff/under the serge of white,”
  2. Faces grow/Thin as daylight fades toward the dimming west.”
  3. “in the dark like a cat’s eye as moonlight breaks out.”

Rabiul subsists mostly as a toppled icon: the source of a handful of indelible phrases, a venerable addition to academic bibliographies, and reliable sustenance for the literary jackals who practice the indelicate art of diminution-through-biography. Just so the art of living that he seeks to salvage through his poetry and gets the impression that, especially for younger observers, the entire world that his sometime authority animated is irrecoverably strange and distant. For many, his vaunted power is little more than an occult blend of romanticism and realistic tyranny—a bit like the iron charisma, and it is difficult to say what is more remarkable: the potency of his imagination in his poetry at its peak or the suddenness of its eclipse. His poems focus on representations of the fascination engrossed in time—specifically his own chorological poetic cult and his decidedly prospective imagination, in relation to contemporaneous realistic transformations in which temporality becomes entangled with subjectivity in his poems, suggesting a fairly linear progression from feminine weakness.

Through an alignment of his poems we see how the poems reconfigures the poetry spatial pattern of emerged so as to interpret the biographical problems of all the age as at least partly grounded in questions of passion towards feminine, after all passion towards life and the process of subject-making. The controlled flow of images combined with the structure of these poems successfully:

“I was there-trapped, perplexed, hurt-watching

The game closing in-it is all over:

You are drowned in the quagmire of your skin.

Yes, there was a time when I could lend you a hand.

(There was a time when I could lend you a hand, Lines 23-26)

There are, for instance, many scattered lines which are capable of transporting even a quite uninitiated reader, just sufficiently acquainted with the roots of the language to decipher the meaning, to an impression of overpowering beauty. This impression is so deep that no subsequent study and understanding intensifies emotional impression. This is not simply because the poet no longer occupies the exalted place he once did. It is also because that exalted place is itself largely unavailable. The impression that he’s authority both presupposed and helped to sustain—the cult of high emotion—seems to be everywhere out of stock, back-ordered: no longer carried because no longer called for. His poems focus on representations of the fascination engrossed in context—specifically his poetic cult and his decidedly prospective imagination, in relation to contemporaneous realistic transformations in which temporality becomes entangled with subjectivity in his poems, suggesting a fairly linear progression from feminine weakness, through an alignment of his poems we see how the poems reconfigures the poetry spatial pattern of emerged so as to interpret the biographical problems of all the age as at least partly grounded in questions of passion towards feminine, after all passion towards life and the process of subject-making.

Rabiul’s poems during the age we now call romantic, anti-romantic, the present is increasingly structured so as to include, if not the future, at least the sense of a threshold into the future, from which the present comes to be understood. As is seen, together with this prospective tilt, the Romantic phenomena witnessed, perhaps most notably, an intellectual turn toward periodicity in the shape of biological thought. By way of the astonishing suggestion that, while in his poems denounce the poet we as a reader look into de-romanticizing poetic practices, the conceptual creeds that the poet uses are, in fact, exposure of the mental world and its internal tenet authored by the very objects the poet sought, that is precisely by the poems of situating the modern poet as Rabiul Hasan, that his poems originate his inclination, his ideology, and over all his belief and practice. With special attention to the emergence of his poetic discourse of the spirit of the age in his native home and the USA together, that illuminates, on the one hand, a certain epistemological uncertainty attending various conjecture of describing the time, while the poet says, on the other hand, that his poems are distinctive for the urgency of its attempts to define his passionate world, emerging from its inclination of periodicity the experience itself that is gestured exposed inwardly, his perhaps most provocative insight shapes biological reflection; moreover, while the present age, is now defueled as distinct from the antiquity, the difficulty of apprehending, but it is the fact, that the discourse of his poetry is obviously different from that of the present and the future, which robbed the annalistic onward-poetic diction of present incidents of the uncertainty, dogmatic beliefs and imagination dilemma that remains unfolded beyond.

Rabiul Hasan’s poetry remains some of the most beloved and acclaimed work of the present cult of the time, challenging its readers with the complexity of its allusions, metaphors, and images with excellent compelling force of its insight, self-awareness, and psychological penetration. His poetry always presents his phrasing and poetic voice that are consistently so distinctive, even mannered, as well as inclined applauding his poetry, more or less, decry of the inward journey of the mind, as simple as that—is incomparable. And, he famously as an orotund effect provides the readers here with a first-rate bit of allusive testing, and introduces one to the many then-uncollected early reviews and brings out their often comic and satiric nature. His inclination over the decades in searching out the vast trove of correspondence brings him alive in his poetry in remarkable ways. It also is a great peroration that, coming in contact with his poetry seems an appropriate way to end, even as it looks forward to a new beginning. We as a reader find his statecrafts of words terminating in the ecstasy of assent as the poet takes a full juice of meaning which we as a reader never supposed any word to possess. In this process the qualities which I have mentioned, of ordinance and precision, are brilliantly ornate, we see as in-

‘It is the night wind that the Viking ship dares at mid ocean.

The retired E.F. Hutton broker packs his belongings

and moves to his beach-front  house in Bucks Harbor, Maine.

The June whelk drifts to the June scrod intoxicated by sea grapes.

The swallow soars, turns over, swoops down, touches the water,

Creating one thousand puddles he would love to see.’

Coe Review, Spring 1988, p.47

Or,

‘…the velvet shroud thick on the ground.

Night. The gaping clouds glide past the glittering moon.

The grasses stiff under thee serge of white

Our eyes catch up up at one or two strange figures

Sledgeing in the grizzled, icy tracks through the mysterious cliffs.’

Madonna 0f the Rain, December  Snow, p. 4

To Thomas Morgan, … The similarity of the images of dark, rain, ice, snow and emptiness one might surmise that these poems deal with loss and death. When the poet combines them with a romantic attraction to nature we might argue that he is expressing a death wish, a desire to return to Mother Earth (his Madonna?) We can only hope that such a wish will be a long time coming.’ (Love and Darkness, Life and Death in Rabiul Hasan’s Maonna of the Rain by Thomas Morgan, Unpublished Manuscript, p.2)

The alternative to the Romantic view of Rabiul Hasan’s poetic personality is to see his poetry as essentially the poetry of purification just as dedicating to ordeal sternness against them with the stubborn and intransigent resolution which belongs only to the world the poet has been experienced. In reality perhaps neither of the views is in fact accurate and the inherited realization takes a top-notch shape through romantic insight comes to light, and it precisely seems to be buried in his poetry and which eventually erupts in his poetry that enables to explore and express the internalised violence of the rationalist sensibility with more imaginative power than any other modern poet, it is perhaps because he does so from within a poetic sensibility which is itself profoundly intellectual, and deeply marked by that very puritanical inward walk toward rationalism, passionate world which he so persistently–and I as a reader believe truly—portraits with rhetorical creed. His poems are meant to be “the concrete examples on which generalizations are to be based. The poet, within limits, has to make his language as he goes.” 3



  1. “Preface to Lyrical Ballads. William Wordsworth (1800). 1909-14. Famous Prefaces. The Harvard Classics”. www.bartleby.com. Retrieved 2017-11-01

  2. Jancovich, Mark (1993). The Cultural Politics of the New Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  3. Brooks, Cleanth. The Well Wrought Urn, P. 198; New York: Harcourt Brace, 1947.

Hamid Rayhan, Poet & Fiction Writer

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