As a student of Bangla literature, Maruful Islam developed both a critic's and an enthusiast's understanding of the diversity of themes, genres and techniques of the thousand year old tradition of Bangla poetry. When he began to write poems his themes thus offered themselves-love and romance, magic and mystery, nature and the city, separation and alienation. His early poems were self-consciously poetic, employing rich imagery, symbols and tropes and explored a wide range of moods and feelings. His more recent poems however, show a sharper focus on the psychological complexities that result from a loss of innocence as individuals struggle to cope with alienation and dehumanization triggered by physical and emotional displacement. What distinguishes Maruful's poems is their precision of expression, their metaphoric structure, their perceptive treatment of moods, and their mastery of technique. He explores both myth and history for their nostalgic and evocative power, the baul tradition exemplified by Lalon Shai (the Sainji of some of the poems) for its philosophy and sublimity and our contemporary realty for its mix of both disturbing and epiphanic images.