Reading Allen Ginsberg’s September on Jessore Road: An Attempt to Ruminate over the Horrific Reminiscences of the Liberation War of Bangladesh

Israt Jahan Shuchi, A B M Shafiqul Islam


Allen Ginsberg’s ‘September on Jessore Road’ captures the blood-stained history of the creation of Bangladesh through highlighting the unflinching struggle of the Bangladeshi people and their appalling plight that they went through during the country’s war of independence in 1971. This poem mainly reports on Ginsberg’s visit to the refugee camps located in the bordering areas of Jessore of Bangladesh and Kolkata of India in mid-September, 1971. Those camps sheltered millions of Bengalis who fled their homes fearing persecution and violence inflicted by the Pakistani occupation forces during the liberation war of Bangladesh. Ginsberg’s first-hand experience of encountering the refugees in those camps is reproduced in this poem where the poet very meticulously pens the untold sufferings that every individual experienced during that war time. The poem also criticizes the US government and all its state apparatus for not supporting the freedom loving Bengalis in that war. His original intent of composing this poem was to express solidarity with the Bengalis’ resolute craving for freedom on the one hand and to create awareness among the masses and form public opinion against Pakistani atrocities on the Bengali people on the other. This paper thus attempts to depict how Ginsberg puts all these aspects into words with a view to reminding us of the gory history behind the establishment of the modern state of Bangladesh.


Month of September, Jessore Road, Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, Refugee Camps, War Victims, Sufferings of Millions

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