Shamsur Rahman (Bangla: শামসুর রাহমান Shamsur Rôhman) (October 24, 1929 – August 17, 2006) was a Bangladeshi poet and journalist. Rahman wrote more than sixty books of poetry and is considered a key figure in Bengali literature.
Shamsur Rahman was born in his grandfather's house 46 no. Mahuttuli, Dhaka. HIs paternal home is situated on the bank of the river Meghna, a village named Paratoli, near the Raipura thana of Narshingdi district. Fourth of thirteen children, he studied at Pogos High School from where he passed his matriculation in 1945. Later he took his I.A. From Dhaka College. Rahman started writing poetry after graduating from Dhaka College at the age of eighteen. He studied English literature at Dhaka University for three years but did not attend the examination. After a break of three years he got admitted to the B.A. pass course and received his B.A. in 1953. He also received his M.A. in the same subject where he stood second in second division.
In his leisure after the matriculation, he read the Golpo Guccho of Rabindranath Tagore. In his comment this book took him into the extra ordinary world and he changed into a different man. In 1949, his poem "Unissho Unoponchash" was published in "Sonar Bangla" which was them edited by Nalinikishor Guho.
He had a long career as a journalist and was the editor of a national daily, Dainik Bangla and the weekly Bichitra.
Shamsur Rahman's first book of poetry, "Prothom Gan Ditio Mrittur Agay", was published in 1960. He had to go through the political turbulance of 60's and 70's which also reflected on his poems clearly. He wrote his famous poem "Asader Shirt" which was written with respect to the Revolution of 69. During the Bangladesh Liberation War he wrote a bunch of extra ordinary poems based on the war. These poems were so inspiring that they were recited at the camps of freedom fighters. Later these poems were published in "Bondi Shibir Theke" in 1972. Later he continued writing poems in the independent Bangladesh and remained as the poet whose poems reflect the history of the nation. During the historical movement against Ershad he published his book "Buk Tar Bangladesher Hridoy" indicating the great sacrifice of Nur Hossain.
Shamsur Rahman started his professional carrier as a co-editor in the English daily "Morning News" in 1957.Later he left this and went to the Dhaka center of Radio Pakistan. But again he return back to his own rank at "Morning News" in 1960 and was there till 1964.After the independence of Bangladesh he wrote columns in the Daily Bangla. In 1977 he became the editor of this daily. He also jointly worked as the editor of "Bichitra".During the period of Ershad he got involved with internal turbulance in the "Daily Bangla".A rank 'Main Editor' was created to take away his position as the editor. In 1987 he left the daily as a protest against Ershad. He also worked as the editor of "Odhuna" in 1987 and as the main editor of the weekly "Muldhara" in 1989.He worked as one of the editors of "Kobikontho" a news letter of poems in 1956.
The critic, Z. R. Siddiqui, describes Shamsur Rahman as one who is "deeply rooted in his own tradition." In his opinion, Shamsur Rahman "still soaks the language of our times, transcending the limits of geography. In his range of sympathy, his catholicity, his urgent and immediate relevance for us, Shamsur Rahman is second to none."
Syed Manzoorul Islam has similar praise for Rahman, "It is true he has built on the ground of the 30's poets, but he has developed the ground, explored into areas they thought too dark for exploration, has added new features to it, landscaped it and in the process left his footprints all over."
In the year 1993 renowned Bangladeshi poet & versatile writer Humayun Azad wrote a book about critical analysis of Shamsur Rahman's poetry named 'Shmasur Rahman/Nisshongo Sherpa'.