‘Poverty of poets’ for WTC

M. Malleswara Rao
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Hardly 100 poets and writers identified for the meet so far

Participation by no fewer than 300 poets and writers of eminence in the first World Telugu Conference (WTC) held at Hyderabad in 1975 made it a memorable Telugu event but the scenario for its fourth edition taking place at Tirupati now remains changed.

With only 15 days to go before the Tirupati conference, hardly 100 poets and writers of some stature could be identified so far for the purpose in spite of the best efforts by authorities.

A writer quipped: The state is in a different kind of poverty now.

Those of high standard poetry and writing in the State are too few and can easily be counted on fingers, he adds, referring to the quality maintained in terms of ideas and language by great poets like Gurajada, Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Sri Sri, Jashua, Dasarathi, Tripuraneni Ramaswamy, Kaloji, Seshendra Sarma, Unnava Lakshminarayana and Arudra. Dr C. Narayana Reddy is the only poet of that order, available to the present generation.

The situation is so, notwithstanding the fact that poetry was liberated from the shackles of prosody (chandassu) long ago, resulting in ushering of a new era wherein the writer could pen free verses sans rhythm, rhyme and meter, to express ideas that offer the poetic pleasure or solve problems of suffering humanity.


A progressive writer vehemently disagrees that “poverty of poetry” exists in the State.

He says that there are any number of writers/poets in Andhra Pradesh now more than ever whose verses provide the much needed food for thought, dwelling on the intricacies of Telugu and various social, economic and emotional issues.

Romanticism is pursued only by a few these days.

Poetry should serve a purpose, it is not an end in itself.

An official asserted that the Tirupati conference might lack the “shining stars” witnessed at the first World Telugu Conference but this aspect would be more than compensated by the present day litterateurs who were equally competent.

This, he said, could be verified from the quality and standard with which the new generation poets would participate in the ‘kavi sammelans’ and other literary interactions at the World Telugu Conference.

Identifying folk people

The job to identify people of Telugu folk arts like Oggukatha, Gurakalu, Dappulu, Burrakatha and Tholubommalata and fine arts such as Andhra/Kuchipudi Natyam which will be displayed there holding mirror to Telugu culture, however, is found to be easy because of the availability of a large number of these artistes who learnt or inherited them through generation-to-generation route.

“The state is in a different kind of poverty now”



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