The English Department of Daffodil International University arranged a seminar on “Rhythm in Poetry and Music” on February 14, 2013 at the university auditorium in Sobhanbag campus. Famous poet Omar Shams was the keynote speaker of the program. Among others, Dr. Anisuzzman, Professor of Philosophy from Dhaka University, Professor Dr. Sushil Kumar Das, Mr. Mohammad Shamsul Hoque from UK, and Dr. Binoy Barman, Head of the English Department, were present as discussants in the seminar.
The keynote speaker mainly focused on the workings of a same rhythmic pattern in two different media, namely poetry and music. He said that if one compared the prosaic language with a walk, then a rhythmic language would be a dance. In his deliberation, he drew instances from traditional, romantic and modern Bengali poetry, covering Rabindranath Tagore, Jibanananda Das and Sudhindranath Dutta. He also discussed the universal appeal of some rhythmic patterns across different geo-political boundaries. His talk was accompanied by a practical demonstration of rhythm on ‘Tabla’ played by him. His recitation and simultaneous Tabla-playing were heartily appreciated by the audience.
Professor Dr. Anisuzzaman, in his discussion, talked about the significance of language not as a medium of communication, rather as an expression of one’s inner self. Mohammad Shamsul Hoque, an expatriate poet and scholar, highlighted the relevance of rhythm not only to poetry and music but also to life. He said that the universe is rhythmic and the end of rhythm will mean disaster in animate and material worlds. Poet Mostafa Tofayel, a poet from Rangpur who has authored the epic “Prometheus Bangabandhu” also talked on the sound patterns in poetry and music.
The program was conducted by Ms. Nahid Kaiser, and the biography was read out by Ms. Tamanna Binte Aziz. Ms. Susmita Rani rendered two songs. Khondakar Farha Mourin, a student of English Department recited “Internet Gayatri”, a poem written by Omar Shams. The keynote speaker was presented a crest, which was handed over to him by Prof. Dr. Shusil Kumar Das. A good number of teachers and students of English Department were present in the seminar.
Omar Shams lives in New Jersey, USA. He has so written nine books of his poetry; these are: Bodhibrikkhatole (1984), Khoabnama (1986), Satturer Michhil (1989), Rilker Asa Jawa (1992), Kriti Protikriti O Onnanyo Kobita (1998), Baborer Padma Oshoker Chaka (2010), Internet Gayatri (2010), Onontor Panna (2011), and New Yorke Jishu (2012).