Bishnu Dey

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Bishnu Dey
Born(1909-07-18)18 July 1909
Died3 December 1982(1982-12-03) (aged 73)
OccupationPoet, Academician

Bishnu Dey was a Bengali poet, writer and academician in the era of modernism, post-modernism.[1][2][3] Starting off as a symbologist, he won recognition for the musical quality of his poems, and forms the post-Tagore generation of Bengali poets, like Buddhadeb Basu and Samar Sen, which marked the advent of "New Poetry" in Bengali literature, deeply influenced by Marxist ideology. He published a magazine wherein he encouraged socially conscious writing. His own work reveals a poet's solitary struggle, quest for human dignity, amidst a crisis of uprooted identity.[4][5] Through his literary career, he taught English literature at various institutes such as the Ripon College, Presidency College (1944–1947), Maulana Azad College (1947–1969) and Krishnanagar College. In the 1920s & 1930s, he was also remained a member of a young group of poets, centered on the Kallol (Commotion) magazine.

His most important work, Smriti Satta Bhabishyat (Memory, being, the Future) (1955–61), set a new precedent in Bengali poetry.[5] It later won him the 1965 Sahitya Akademi Award in Bengali as well as the highest literary award of India, Jnanpith Award, in 1971.[6]


Bishnu Dey studied at Mitra Institution, Calcutta and Sanskrit Collegiate School, Calcutta. After matriculating in 1927, he went on to do his IA from Bangabashi College, Calcutta. He completed his BA (Hons.) in English from St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College, Calcutta and MA in English from the University of Calcutta.


In 1935, he joined Ripon College, Calcutta. He subsequently taught at Presidency College, Kolkata (1944–1947), Maulana Azad College, Calcutta (1947–1969).


  • Urvashi O Artemis (1932)
  • Chora Bali (1938)
  • Purba Lekh (1940)
  • Sandiper Char (1947)
  • Annishta (1950)
  • Naam Rekhechi Komal Gandhar (1950)
  • The Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore (1958)
  • India and Modern Art (1959)
  • Art of Jamini Roy (1988)

Chhadano Ei Jiban (This Scattered Life)

Some regard his poems as intricate and incomprehensible to a great extent, most likely due to wide use of references and imageries from literary works and cultural instances of foreign origin.[7]


He was inspired by Marxist philosophy and by the ideas and style of T. S. Eliot. Post-partition along with other Calcutta-based writers and poets like Subhash Mukhopadhyay he formed the "Anti-Fascist Writers' and Artists' Association" in 1947.[8]



  1. ^ Saccidanandan, ed. (2006). Signatures: one hundred Indian poets. National Book Trust. p. 444.
  2. ^ Caltuttaweb - Bengali literature Archived 9 July 2013 at WebCite
  3. ^ of india-award-jnanpith award
  4. ^ Dutta, p. 219.
  5. ^ a b Nagendra, Dr. (1988). Indian Literature. Prabhat Prakashan. p. 390.
  6. ^ "Jnanpith Laureates Official listings". Jnanpith Website. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007.
  7. ^ Bishnu Dey at Old Poetry
  8. ^ Dutta, Krishna (2003). Calcutta: a cultural and literary history. Signal Books. p. 219. ISBN 1-902669-59-2.

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