Makers of Modern Odisha: Gangadhar Meher

Born on August 9, 1862 on the day of Sravana Purnima at Barapalli, Sambalpur in a weaver family. Educated up to 5th class. Dr. Mayadhar Mansingh has high esteem for Gangadhar Meher and in his History of Oriya literature he has opined “All told, Gangadhar Meher is one of the rarest personalities and poets in the whole range of Oriya Literature’’. His poetic creation includes ‘ PRANAYA-BALLARI’, ‘KICHAKA BADHA’, ‘ INDUMATI,’ UTKAL LAXMI’, AYODHYA DRUSYA’, ‘ KABITA KALLOLA’, ‘ARGHYA THALI’, ‘ AHALYA STABA’, MAHIMA’ BHARATI BHABANA’, ‘ KUMARA JANMOTSAV’, BHAKTI UPAHAR, ‘PADMINI’, KABITA MALA & KRUSHAKA SANGITA’. His prose creation include ATMA JEEVANI’, SHRI NRUPARAJ SINGH’, ‘ PURANA KABI FAKIR MOHAN’, SWARGIYA KASHINATH PANDA’, ‘EHAKI PRUTHIBIRA SABDA?, SIKSHIT’, ASIKHSIT & SIKSHYABHIMANINI.

The popularity of his literary creation is due to narration of the beauty of the nature just like Kabibara Radhanath Ray. It is unique. Gangadhar is widely known as poet of nature, can be compared with poet Shelly, Byron and Keats. He was the messenger of Upendra Bhanja’s style and ideals. His popularity is not accidental. There are many reasons behind this. Just like Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja, his poetries are replete with high ornamental words, unique composition style, using in befitting cases, simile and metaphor and appropriate words. His poetries are sonorous of rhythm of words and languages. He is rated as a great poet in Indian Literature. Died on April 4, 1924. His poetries can be divided into lyrics, devotional, patriotic, reformative, ethical, agricultural, elegy, and narration of nature.

Source: Odisha Review, November 2018