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Memorial held for poet Hayat Saif

  • Published at 11:48 pm May 20th, 2019
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Speakers and well-wishers of poet Hayat Saif pay respect with a moment’s silence to late poet Hayat Saif during a memorial event in Dhaka on Monday, May 20, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The poet was awarded the Ekushey Padak, the second highest civilian award of the country, in 2018

Ekushey Padak-winning poet Hayat Saif will always be remembered for his creativity and unique work, speakers said at an event yesterday.

They made the statements yesterday while speaking at the commemoration event for the noted 60s poet and translator, held at the Shamshur Rahman Seminar Hall of the Bangla Academy in Shahbagh, Dhaka.

Presiding over the event, HT Imam, political adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also Hayat's cousin, said among all the poets of his era, Hayat Saif was unique. 

Praising, the poet, he said: "As a government official, Hayat performed his duties well while also writing beautiful poems. He was not crazy for fame. He did not sell his poetic integrity to become famous."

Public servant Saiful Islam Khan, who used to write under the pen-name of Hayat Saif, passed away on May 13.

He was awarded the Ekushey Padak, the second highest civilian award of the country, in 2018.

Born in 1942 in Dhaka, a young Hayat started his journey as an author and poet in the 1960s. He shot to fame with a poem published in the then Samakal in 1962. 

Hayat has 15 published books—including eight collections of poems and two collections of essays. Some of his books have also been translated into English and Spanish.  

Among others, poet Asad Chowdhury, Director General of Bangla Academy Habibullah Siraji, fiction writer Anwar Syed Haque, dramatist Ferdousi Majumdar, poet Kazi Rozi, and poet Zahidul Haque, were also present at the event.