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Malayalam poetry becoming extinct: writer

Staff Reporter

Kochi: Writer T. Padmanabhan on Thursday said that poetry in Malayalam would soon find itself on the ‘Red List’ as an endangered literary genre.

“Poets such as Akkitham Achuthan Namboodiri, ONV Kurup, Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri and Sugathakumari are still alive, but they are through with their innings and have gone back to the pavilion.

‘Hopeless prose’

What is being paraded as contemporary poetry in Malayalam is hopeless prose that is far from fascinating the connoisseur.

This is the sorry state of affairs of poetry in Malayalam, the language in which [the late] Lalithambika Antharjanam launched herself as a poet, though she carved a niche for herself in story and essay writing at a later stage,” he said after inaugurating the birth centenary celebrations of Lalithambika Antharjanam at a function organised by Samastha Kerala Sahithya Parishad here.

“If there is a single word that encapsulates the whole gamut of her writing, it is ‘sacred’,” said Mr. Padmanabhan. Critic Prof. M. Achuthan presided over the function.

Prof. M. Thomas Mathew, who won this year’s Vayalar award; writers Priya A.S. and E.P. Sreekumar; writer and granddaughter of Lalithambika Antharjanam, Sarita Varma; and Samastha Kerala Sahithya Parishad general secretary M.V. Benny spoke.

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