Verse vignettes of a velocity poet
To say, Devi Priya is a gifted poet is a gross understatement. He is an Editor of both print and electronic media for a considerable time, a political...
To say, Devi Priya is a gifted poet is a gross understatement. He is an Editor of both print and electronic media for a considerable time, a political cartoonist, poet, maker of documentaries, writer of biographies and a translator.
A socially conscious poet with literary dignity, he said “I have two treasures, poetry on my tongue and poverty on my head, and I have two duties, one is an eternal dedication to poetry and the other struggles against poverty.
KNY Patanjali, a mercurial writer, editor, and a longtime friend of Devi Priya writing foreword to the anthology ‘Chepa Chiluka’ had said “Around 30 years ago, on a shanty there was rain. The rain flowed down from the eaves and became a perennial river. Some 30 years ago a tender forefinger jotted something on the walls of a poor man’s hut.
That very forefinger is now tweaking the silver strings of lightning and caring for the strings of the heart. And is showing to everybody where lurks the beast that devours the life. Asking us to hunt it down, and is anointing the crimson invitation on the foreheads of hunters. The name of such phenomenon is Devi Priya.”
All his poetry carried interesting and innovative titles like ‘Amma Chette’ (Mother Tree) ‘Neeti Putta’ (Watery Pit) ‘Chepa Chiluka’ (Fish Parrot) ‘Gaali Rangu’ (Colour of Air) ‘Tuphanu Tummeda’ (Storm Dragonfly), ‘Gandhakuti’ (Bower of Fragrance), ‘Gareebu geetalu’ (Songs of Gareeb).
‘Inshah Alla! Samajananda Svami’ (satirical poetry in Kanda padya metrical verse) and running commentary of similar style, which appeared as a daily cartoon strip in various dailies, and ‘Adhyakshaa Mannimchandi ( Pardon, Speaker Sir) essays on the socio-political happenings around the world, all this output makes him a unique litterateur of significant contribution.
He translated Gurajada’s ‘Poornamma’ into English and penned down some biographies too as a commissioned biographer.
From the early background of Paigambara poets, which Volga, MK Sugambabu and Devi Priya started in the 1970s , the poet came a long way and remained steadfast in the progressive movement of the people and writers. Taking a broad canvas, employing simple and deep terms, Devi Priya remains committed to the art of poetry and retains its intellectual space and indomitable will to raise valid objections about the ways of the world.
In that, we can find in him a philosopher, in intense conversation with nature, world, co-human beings, flora and fauna. All listen to him in rapt attention, and in the process, he takes all that into him.
The Sahitya Akademi Award is a testimony to this poet of current times, cosmopolitan in expression, and liberal in interpreting human civilisation. Poems of the poet from ‘Gali Rangu’, Akademi Award-winning poetry anthology are presented here in English translation by Rama Teertha.