Meaning of Bonolota Sen by Jibanananda Das

This is one of the most eternal poems of the Bengali literature. Bonolota Sen has found her stands with the best of the lady characters of the world. She has been ordained withs the characters of the solitary reaper, Lucy, Maria, Phenomenal women and others. Immortal poets like Herman Goering and William Butler Yeats stands as the primal inspiration to the idea of this woman. She stands as a hope, a ray of light among the abyss of darkness, a speck of treasure of happiness in the pool of emptiness. She is the humanity personified; Bonolota is the direction of love that resides in the romanticism of the ages.

Structure of the poem
This poem, like all the other poems of Jibananda is in free verse. The great thing that is to be noticed in this poem is the use of the words. The words are just like the caves of the caves of Altamira. They are like the engravings of Michelangelo. They are like the painting of Leonardo da Vinci. Jibanananda has painted the emptiness with the greatness of the words. The use of the simile and the metaphor, the oxymoron and the antithesis collaborate to conjure something that is evergreen and eternal. The structure is simple and the flow is prolific. There are three stanzas in the poem. Each stanza is of six lines each. This is a lyrical ballad which has a special kind of Bengali metrical free verse pattern called the Aksherbritta or Poyar.

The first world war of 1919 was enough for the world to endure the pains. The incurred losses of lives and property made the world lose the identity of happiness in gleam. The gloominess of the outward existence of the earth had mired the concept of love. The poet is ever retaliated and seismographic. He takes up the notes of the world to connote the note of his own. Jibanananda was missing the spark of life at those times. Thus while teaching Bengali at the hallowed Presidency College he had taken up the abysmal task of writing something that would induce the spirit of love in the Bengali community. Never in his dreams did the poet feel that his creation shall attain so much fame that it shall rise above the stands of the common men and create such a grandeur which would go on inspiring the youths for ages and ages. This would make him immortal in the eyes of time. Bonolota Sen has inspired the poets down the ages. The poets like Sunil Ganguli had written the character of Nira, the poet like Shakti Chatterjee had penned Mira and many more to name a few. Thus Bonolota can be viewed as the precursor of the new kind of Bengali poetic writings.

"hazaar bochhor dhore…. Natorer Bonolota Sen:

The poet here is a lone traveler who is travelling through the time for thousand years. This is a use of the hyperbole which is generally included to increase the importance of a particular thing or subject. He says that he is travelling for a thousand years to increase the importance of the travel. In fact the meaning can be connoted as he is a traveler travelling through the fins of time.

He says that he has travelled to various cities. The cities he names are Sinhala or Srilanka of the modern times, Malay Sagar or the sea of the Malaya which means the mountains. The Indian Ocean of the modern days. The ocean on whose embankments there reside the greatest of the empires of the world. He has travelled through the dark ages of Bimbisara and Asoka. He names these mythological places to depict that he is travelling the time through the empires and the variety of kingdoms. He had seen the whitish pale sea of life. Yet he did not find the peace. He got peace at Natore where he met Bonolota Sen.

The poet mentions the name of Natore because Natore was the seat of culture and heritage of ancient Bengal. After travelling the warring territories of the world he got the peacefulness in the laps of his motherland where a woman coaxes his tormented soul and gives him the long desired rest.

"chul taar….. karukarjo"

The poet is describing the beauty of the girl here. He is a traveler thus had seen a lot of places all around the world. He demonstrates like a mesmerized person, the beauty of this girl. He says the hair of this girl was like the dark crevices of the night. Her face had the beauty of the engravings found at the Shravasti. The engravings at the Shravasti are famous all through the world! The poet establishes a direct relation between the two.

"haal bhenge…. Natorer Bonolota sen"

He refers to the shipwrecked sailor who finds resort among the cinnamon islands of Indonesia. He says that he is like that sailor who is far annulated from his place and is finding for a resort. The girl Bonolota gives him that resort and peace. Her eyes are compared to the nest of a bird. The bird’s nest-eyed girl gives the peace and the poet searches for the required serenity of love in her.

"somostho diner shsese….. Bonolota Sen"

He returns to his homeland after the whole day of traversing the area. The darkness comes in as silently as the dew drops fall. As the birds return to thrift nests, the day’s breath is eradicated from the wings of the eagle, and the rivers end all the water taking of the workfolk day. The evening makes the preparations for another journey. The poet takes rest in the sea of darkness. He is not lonely now for he has Bonolota to coax him always.

As a person who is not loved, the poet is travelling from one place to the other. He traverses the ancient lands and finds no peace. He comes to the conjecture of Natore and gets the company of Bonolota Sen. There he gets peace. It appears to him that among the beauty of the girl; there is a resort as the cinnamon island is for a shipwrecked soldier. After the toil of the day the poet comes to Bonolota and thus the love tale is fulfilled.

The importance of the poem
The time is full of less love and more hatred. Among this emptiness the poem Bonolota Sen teaches us to love. Bonolota is the weed of the forest that is less tended. The poet resorts to love and tranquility in that trivia. This poem thus speaks against all the ill functions round the world and speaks openly for love. The Bonolota is just the opposite parallel to La Belle Dame Sans Merci of Keats who eludes the poet from his work. That is the concept of the west. Bonolota is of the orient and thus is equally tender and equally loving.