Kavita, The

Kavita, The a quarterly poetry magazine, was first published on 1 October 1935 (Aswin 1342). For the first two years of its appearance, it was edited by buddhadeb basu and premendra mitra. Though it was jointly edited, Buddhadeb Basu remained the key person in the editing desk. The price of one copy was six annas; and the annual subscription fee was Tk. 1.50. Premendra Mitra was the first poet of its first have one's poetical work published in it. The title of his first poem was 'Tamasha'. When he left the magazine in its second year, Samar Sen replaced him. But soon after one year, Buddhadeb took the sole responsibility of its editing and publishing. When its first issue was published, Rabindranath wrote a letter to Buddhadeb and expressed his appreciation on the paper.

In the 1930s, a group of young poets tried to come out of the influence of Rabindranath and came out with their own ideas of modern poetry following the poetical trend in the West. The Kavita was their mouthpiece. Many of their masterpieces were published in this magazine. Through this magazine prose-poetry was introduced and developed in the Bangla language. At that time, 'Kavita Bhaban' and 'Kavita Bhaban Prokashana' were the meeting place of the young poets affiliated with the magazine.

345 writers contributed to the Kavita in its lifespan of a quarter century from Aswin 1342 to Chaitra 1367. Notables among them are: Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Premendra Mitra, Buddhadeb Basu, Bishnu De, Samar Sen, Jibanananda Das, Sudhindranath Dutta, Ajit Datta, Pratibha Basu, Sonjoy Bhattacharya, Parimol Ray, Noresh Guha, Achintya Kumar Sengupta, Amiya Chakravarty, Kamakshi Prasad Chattopadhyaya, Shamsur Rahman, Abu Sayeed Ayub, Humayun Kabir, Subhas Mukhopadhaya, Anwar Pasha, Al Mahmud, Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury, Alauddin al Azad, Shankha Ghosh and others.

The main foci of the Kavita were: poetry, poetry criticism and essays related to poetry. Bringing out special issues was another feature of the magazine. The special issues include Rabindra Issue, Nazrul Issue, Jibanananda Issue etc. The Baishak of 1345 (its third year), had a very important issue focussing on the form of poetry and its evolving structure. It contained several important essays: 'Sahityer Swarup' by Rabindranath Tagore, 'Kavitar Kotha' by Jibanananda Das, 'Kavyer Biplab O Biplober Kavya' by Abu Sayeed Ayub, 'Kavi O Tar Samaj' by Buddhadeb Basu, and other pieces of literary criticism.

The Kavita was an epoch-making magazine in Bangla literature. The 25 years of the Kavita (1935-1960) can be termed as the period of the mature modern poetry in Bangla literature. During this period, all the characteristics of modern poetry came to be manifested in Bangla poetry. [Mamunur Rashid]