Text and Context: Ginsberg along the Jessore Road in 1971
A. B. M. Monirul Huq and Md. Firoz Mahmud Ahsan
Abstract: The poor living conditions of the internally displaced people of Bangladesh at the Indian refugee camps during the months of the war of liberation in 1971 struck a deep chord with the philanthropic western minds, a handful of whom came in person to visit these camps. One of these people was the poet Allen Ginsberg, who, unlike a typical social worker, felt compelled within to address the global consciousness in an idiosyncratic way. Ginsberg’s “September on Jessore Road” was recited and sung by the poet himself in the tradition of the blues; but it counts more for its detailed account of the shocking ailment of the scared mob haunted by the atrocities of the Pakistani army. This paper is intent on assaying how the backdrop of the war-ridden Bangladesh affected Ginsberg’s poetic mind, resulting in a text dipped in a humanitarian appeal, which potently sketches the images of the sufferings of the distressed evacuees.
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Published in 2016