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Two Measures of Bhakti

Two Measures of Bhakti

Vijay Nambisan
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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.

Imprint: Penguin Classics

Published: Jun/2009

ISBN: 9780143064480

Length : 106 Pages

MRP : ₹150

Two Measures of Bhakti

Vijay Nambisan

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.

Select Preferred Format

Vijay Nambisan

Vijay Nambisan has worked as a journalist in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bihar and Kerala. A selection of his poems appeared in Gemini, a two-poet volume published in Viking in 1992. He is also the author of Language as an Ethic (Penguin, 2003). He is married to the novelist and surgeon Kavery Nambisan. They live in Lonavla, Maharashtra.

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