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Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Grammarian's Funeral and Buddhism

‘A Grammarian's Funeral’ is not a religious poem. It talks about the Renaissance spirit. We know that Renaissance took place in Europe against religious orthodoxy. Well, ‘A Grammarian's Funeral’ is not against religion. Even, it talks of God and good ways. However, the path that the grammarian followed was a bit different than traditional Christianity. To the grammarian, knowledge was everything.

I feel that there is some resemblance with the spirit of Buddhism. I am not sure if Robert Browning was that much familiar with the main teachings of Buddhism or not but I feel that there is striking similarity between ‘A Grammarian's Funeral’ and Buddhism. According to Lord Buddha, knowledge can bring salvation and the grammarian believed in the same thing. In fact, he followed this teaching in his own life. Then, Buddha said that true happiness does not come in luxury and comfort but it comes in conquering sadness and pain. I guess that the grammarian could do that in the best way. He did not care that he did not have money but he cared for only knowledge and thus he was a happy man.

That is why, I feel that the grammarian is a nice example of a true hero of Buddhist spirit. Do you agree with me?

A Grammarian's Funeral of Robert Browning: Some Reflections

Robert Browning is one of my most favorite poets in English literature. This is a touching poem reflecting Browning’s admiration for Renaissance spirit. I studied this poem in the third year in university and I was deeply moved with this poem. This is one of the poems that has become a part of my life. It’s not that I recite it a lot or even read it a lot but I think of the poem ‘A Grammarian's Funeral’ a lot. Today, out of curiosity, I searched about it in Google and found very little discussion about it. Well, it disappointed me some as I expected that there would be a lot of discussion about the poem in Internet.

The poem opens a grave note:

Let us begin and carry up this corpse,

Singing together.

Leave we the common crofts, the vulgar thorpes

Each in its tether

Sleeping safe on the bosom of the plain,

Cared-for till cock-crow:

The students of the Grammarian are carrying his dead body and they are going to bury him on the hill. Well, they are not students but they are the disciples of the Grammarian. They respected the Grammarian despite the fact that he was not rich. This is interesting to me. Teachers are respected in all the ages although they don’t have a lot of wealth. Their wealth is their knowledge and with their knowledge, they can teach their students new things.

Another thing that attracts me of the poem ‘A Grammarian's Funeral’ is the fact that the Grammarian did not study anything that could make him rich. I mean he studied humanities not science or commerce. In our own age, studying humanities (or Arts) is not a cool thing in many parts of the world. The money is in science and in commerce. So, most students and their parents tend to neglect the subjects of humanities.

Now, take a look at the next few lines of the poem:

Look out if yonder be not day again

Rimming the rock-row!

That's the appropriate country; there, man's thought,

Rarer, intenser,

Self-gathered for an outbreak, as it ought,

Chafes in the censer.

Here, we can see a distinction drawn between ordinary people and the grammarian. The grammarian was a man of noble sprit and virtue and his place is surely not with the ordinary people. He was higher than others because he dedicated his life for knowledge. In our age, acquiring knowledge is a good thing. You can become rich and famous and even powerful and respectable with knowledge but at that time, there was hardly anything to gain by dedicating a life for knowledge. There was no research grant, no publishing deal or scholarship or teaching position for people like the grammarian. He does not mind the limitations and obstacles in life. He just knows that he has a mission in life and that is acquiring and imparting knowledge. It is mission, passion and perhaps religion. There is a sense of fulfillment through knowledge.

I will write more about this poem in this blog in the coming days. You can subscribe to the feed of the blog. I urge all of you to take part in the discussion about this poem.

A blog about Bangla/Bengali Literature and Other Literatures

Yes, it is like coming back to the basic again. I started this blog 23 months ago and that time, I was struggling in my career. I was trying to establish myself as a freelance writer in Internet. Internet has eradicated the limitations of distance and I really understood this matter. I did not become successful as a freelance writer but I have experienced considerable success in blogging and so, I am not struggling anymore. This blog did not take off because I had no idea how to make a blog successful. Now, I have some healthy experience and skills about blogging and I am deeply grateful to God for that.

So, I have come back to the blog from where I started. I am again going to write about literature. I studied English literature for my BA. So, I know about most of the major poets, dramatists and writers of English literature. Of course, studying for exam is never a very enjoyable thing. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed reading Charles Dickens and George Orwell. I also loved William Wordsworth.

My first passion is not English literature- rather it is Bangla/Bengali literature. I started this blog with the goal of presenting Bangla literature to the world. You will not find a lot of materials about Bengali literature in Internet. Well, I know that I cannot do it as I really have no time these days. Nevertheless, I want to write about Bangla literature. I want to write about English literature. I want to write original short stories and I want to translate short stories.

So, come back as often as you can read.

By the way, I am going to change Feedburner subscription and email subscription. So, if you want to get updated by email and feed then you should subscribe again.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Google Taking AdWords to New Markets

Google is always looking for new markets. I feel that Google has now found a good market segment. There are many small business companies around the world who do not have strong (or even any) presence in Internet. You know that these most people search about almost everything in Google and other search engines. This is a huge market but largely absent in cyberspace.

I like the way Google was pursuing this new market segment. To read more, visit here: AdWords and local markets.

Back again! Hopefully

This was my second blog and it was my most favorite blog. I tried to create a healthy amount of content in this blog first about Bangla literature and then about blogging. Well, I feel sad to see that I have neglected this blog totally. I know that I cannot be back again as much as I can but from now, I like to post at least once a week- hopefully.