- Book Genre: Classics
"Late medieval poems from Kerala that still resonate in every Malayali’s heart touchstones of faith in Kerala. Puntanam’s Jnana-paana may claim to be the first original modern poem in Malayalam; simple and innocent, it still speaks directly to the reader. Melpattur’s Narayaniyam is ‘the last great hurrah of classical Sanskrit’ in India; the poem excerpted here, majestic in its humility, describes a vision of the Lord. With his elegant verse translations, Vijay Nambisan brings these poems to a new audience. Also translated is a poem by Mahakavi Vallathol which relates the story of Melpattur and Puntanam’s meeting and how the Sanskritist scorned the vernacular poet. In his incisive ‘Translator’s Apology’, Nambisan explores the dynamics of Malayali culture; places its literature in context; studies matters of prosody; and questions the attitude of an elitist language to a regional one."
Book Pages : 106