Item 121 - Letter from Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy to R. C. Trevelyan

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Letter from Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy to R. C. Trevelyan


  • 31 May 1937 (Creation)

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21, Theatre Road, Calcutta. - Since writing last, has discovered that one of the biggest colleges in Calcutta is to appoint a principal, and 'a book of poems, however bad' would probably get him the job as it entails teaching Shelley for an hour each day. Asks Trevelyan to see if he can get his poems printed privately with a good press, and whether it would be a good idea to include "The Indian Tragedy" and the whole of "The Jews - A Fragment": this is not because of vanity, or because like Yeats, whose "Dramatis Personae" he has been reading, that 'dead numb words bring out neighbouring poetical work', but because they are 'attempts at untraditional forms'. "The Jews" speaks of his 'religious feeling', as well as describing his dissatisfaction with the 'existing social order'. Leaves this to Trevelyan: remembers him once saying that he disliked all poetry of this kind and wondered how Julian could like it; publishers also obviously 'prefer violent & coarse language to quality'. He is not quite well and it is very hot, but the 'gold-mohur trees' are in full bloom in the Calcutta streets, and it is mango season. His cousin Soghra Ikramullah, whom Trevelyan met with him last year, will be in London for three years as her husband [Mohammed] has been appointed Trade Commissioner for India; Suhrawardy would be grateful if Trevelyan could go and visit her as she is 'very dear... almost a sister' and will be glad to see 'living English creative men' amongst all of her husband's dull colleagues. Asks him not to mention 'the peripaties' of his poems as government officials should not know about his failures.

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