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Seshendra : Visionary Poet of the Millennium
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seshendra , visionary poet , son , saatyaki
seshendra , visionary poet , son , saatyaki

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Seshendra Sharma with Wife: Mrs.Janaki Sharma
Children: Vasundhara , Revathi (Daughters),Vanamaali , Saatyaki (Sons)
: 22nd June 1962
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Seshendra Sharma with Parents: G.Subrahmanyam (Father) , Ammayamma (Mother)
Siblings: Anasuya,Devasena (Sisters),Rajasekharam(Younger brother)   
Wife: Mrs.Janaki Sharma
in his ancestral home in Thotapalligudur Village , Nellore Dt.Andhra Pradesh : India : 1949
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Trend Setter of A New Era
“life kindles the flame of poetry. the poet being the wick that burns to shed warmth and light. the sun can show visible objects like building, trees, birds, hills, people and so on. poetry shows, on the other hand, life with its joys and sorrows, its secrets, problems and finally its solutions. wisdom is given in capsules of metaphors, the basic units of poems.” that was gunturu seshendra sharma, telugu poet, critic, and scholar, after winning the sahitya akademi’s award. no wonder seshendra’s genre of poetry, characterized by long poems, reflects human suffering, agony and deprivation of the poor if a poet is one who has intense emotional feeling, seshendra personifies them all. sitting cross-legged in a period settee, he brought forth al his emotions, during an interview. “ my personal experiences which moved me into intense emotional levels took shape as poems”.

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easily one of the best know telugu poets in the hindi belt of north india, his works translated into different languages have come in for liberal appreciation by litterateurs like ali sardar jafri, dr. viswambharnath upadhyay, veerendra kumar jain and prof. indranath chowdary he renders poetry and literary criticism with equal felicity. these features fetched him the sahitya akademi award both as a poet and a literary critic the award was for his work “kaala rekha”., a collection of essays on comparative literature, laced with poetic passages full of metaphors.

“ symbols and metaphors visit only those who have prepared themselves as the medium to receive them. the difference between an ordinary soul and a poet is that the latter cultures himself by going near and getting involved in life and literature. by such a process of involvement one ceases to be the ordinary individual and becomes too sensitive and, therefore susceptible to the invasion life on him. he is like a fiddle with strings drawn to the final limit and even a whiff of wind can knock out a note of melody from the vibrant strings. at this point the individual is called poet”. he says. seshendra has authored over 40 books mostly of poetry, a play, a short story, and many essays and shot into fame with the modern epic ‘naa desham-naa prajalu’ (my country-my people-modern indian epic) published in 1975, widely hailed as ‘turning point’ for its significant contribution not just to telugu literature but to indian literature as a whole. it was soon rendered in english, hindi, and urdu, the last by akhatar hassan with a foreword by the urdu poet, ali sardar jafri. the greek translation had a foreword by nikhiphorus vrittakos. widely traveled, his depth in understanding of telugu, sanskrit, hindi, english french and german literatures appears to be rarely matched. along with “ naa desham-naa prajalu”.”munday suryudu”(the burning sun) ,his second long poem and “gorilla’, ‘gave for the first time a genuine poetic expression to the revolutionary content, introduced into telugu poetry by sri sri, four decades ago, as the telugu university acknowledged in the ecitation presented to him while conferring on him the d.litt degree in 1994. “ this is a historic event in the annals of telugu poetry. from then the non-metaphorical writing that was prevailing for over years in the name of poetry, before seshendra, came to a halt; and metaphorical writing became the order of the day. the same new poetic idiom created by seshendra is even now in vogue having been adopted by all. for this reason, seshendra has a unique place in telugu literature, as a trendsetter and architect of a new era. the emergence of mahakavi seshendra sharma in telugu literature ushered in a dazzling new era. whenever his poetic vision touches the destiny of mankind, it had unfolded in a lofty and stentorian voice.. adds the telugu university citation, describing seshendra’s works and the poet in him with near perfection. his other works include “ rithu ghosha” written when he a was a municipal commissioner of bobbili, ‘shodasi’ his original tantric commentary on sundarakanda of valmiki ramayana, ‘swarna hamsa’, another tantric commentary on naishadhiya charitam of harsha bhatta and sesha jyotsna. having got the copyright, his second son, saatyaki, now started publishing his works through jyotsna publications. one such publication ‘sahitya darshini’ sparked a debate in the telugu literary world last year, as it contains scathing comment on the poet’s contemporaries. born on october 20, 1927 in nellore, seshendra’s first encounter with poetry was early in his childhood, the scholarly background of his family influencing him. his published work dating back to 1946 as a student and contemporary of former chief minister, n.t. rama rao, in a.c. college, was nothing short of being revolutionary and outrageous, though it was for the college magazine. he wrote ‘chandalopi mama guruhu’, depicting sankaracharya’s encounter with a dalit on the banks of the ganga. at eh age of 24, he rendered ‘sohrab and rustom’ from persian epic shahnaama. awards came to him, especially in his home state of andhra pradesh rather belatedly; an aspect which continues to hurt him. “ though i have been in poetry and literature for so many decades now, i got the first award in 1993, that too not in the state but from the rashriya hindi academy in calcutta”. the next was again from the akhil bharatiya rajbhasha sammelan in 1994. there was no stopping and he invited to attend the world hindi conference at nagpur in 1975, and the last one at trinidad in 1996.

The Hindu

India’s National News Paper, Hyderabad

september , 09, 1996

Courtesy ... The Hindu
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Central Sahitya Academy Fellowship
Citation
Sri Gunturu Seshendra Sharma on whom the Sahitya Akademi is conferring its highest honour of Fellowship, is an eminent poet- a Maha kavi- a critic of fine sensibility and a scholar of great standing in literature. He also writes short stories and plays and translates from Telugu to English.   He has been writing poetry in English as well.
  Sri G. Seshendra Sharma was born on 20 October, 1927, In Nagarajupadu in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. After graduating for the Andhra Christian College, he did law in Madras; his greatest ambition was to become a journalist. He believes that the poet and journalist are twin brothers because their source of material is the same. I.e. people and human life. He has been writing weekly columns in Andhra Prabha Daily for more than a decade, in the 60s and 1970s and hundreds of essays and features in many other periodicals.
Sri Seshendra Sharma began his writing career in 1951 with the translation of Sohrab and Rustam with help of Mathew Arnold’s version of the Persian epic Shahnama.  From then on, he concentrated on poetry. The whole credit of having invested Telugu Poetry with life-breath of modernity in the late 70s and early 80s goes entirely to him. To this day, he is considered a unique poetic voice. Seshendra melted anew the materials of poetry, language, imagery, symbolism and fashioned for himself a forceful poetic instrument which bears the stamp of his personality.
Sri Seshendra Sharma’s first collection of prose-poems Seshjyotsna written between 1968-1972 , was published in 1972 in bilingual editions (Telugu and English). This book marks the beginning of the new trend in Telugu poetr5y pioneered by Seshendra. “His emergence is to be hailed as a significant landmark in the history mo modern Telugu poetry.” Observes C.N.Sastry.
The publication of his Munday Suryudu (the Burning Sun) and Rakta Rekha (Arc of Blood) In 1974 proved to be a turning point in Telugu poetry and criticism. Rakta Rekha has now become a classic in Telugu literature revealing his clarity of thought, varied and profound erudition and intellectual acumen. In Munday Suryudu , the poetic language necessary to deal with a revolutionary theme found expression for the first time , and is followed by many even today.

In 1975, his magnum opus Naa desham Naa prajalu (My Country My people) brought Seshendra into prominence as one of the outstanding poets of our country.  Eminent writers like Ali Sardar Jafri hailed it as a landmark in recent history of Indian literature. Some have even compared it to Eliot’s Wasteland. Steeped in the spirit of Indianness and Indian Literature, this master work moves with the grandeur of lyric beauty through the epic landscape of India. In the preface to its Greek translation, the renowned Greek poet Nikheprhoros Vretakkos observes, “Personally I would compare the pain and anguish of the poet with one of Loutremont (the founder of  (Surrealism) in his lyric “ Malrd Aurore” The difference is that Seshendra’s protest is not made in the void. He walks firmly on his soil. At times we observe in this poem, a biblical and prophetic tone which attracts us.”
The collection of poems Neerai Paari poyindi (Turned into Water and Fled away) brought out in 1976 in bilingual editions, was quite different structurally, and his concept of ‘genetic memory’ found expression in it. In 1977 Gorilla came out. 
Narudu- Nakshtralu (Man and Stars) which deals with a variety of subjects like science, politics, economics, history and sociology bear testimony to Sri Sharma’s versatility and brilliance of thought.
His deep scholarship of Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas , Itihasas and Kavyas has placed him in a unique position among the scholars of the country. Shodasi, his Tantric Commentary on the Ramayana and Swarna Hansa , his study of Harsha’s Naishadhiya Charita , are monumental works of literary criticsm.
Adhunika Kavya Sastra, the manifesto of ‘Kavisena” which he founded along with five others is a work on poetics, presenting a synthesis and a comparative study of ancient poetics, ancient Greco-Roman poetics,modern western literary criticism and Marxian aesthetics.
His Sahitya Koumudi (1968) is a brilliant work, re-evaluating the classical poets of Telugu Literature of the medieval period. Kaala Rekha, Sri Sharma’s Sahitya Akademi Award-winning book, is a collection of 25 essays on various subjects like ancient drama, comparative literature, classical poetry and modern writing. This work reflects his rare critical insight, fruitful application of comparative poetics and refreshing originality.
Sri Sharma has attended International Seminars held in Greece, Germany, France, Italy, England, Mauritius, Madagascar, etc. presenting his ori9ginal thoughts on a variety of subjects.
The many honours and awards Sri Sharma has received include Subramanya Bharati Rashtriya Sahitya Puraskar from the Hindi Akademi, Calcutta, in 1993, Sahitya Akademi Award, The Rashtriya Sankriti Ekta Puraskar and the honorary D.Litt conferred by the Telugu University in 1994.
For his eminence as a poet and scholar the Sahitya Akademi confers its highest honor, the Fellowship, on Sri Gunturu  Seshendra Sharma.

                                                                                                            Hyderabad:         19-7-1999
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Seshendra: Visionary poet of the millennium
http://seshendrasharma.weebly.com
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Seshendra Sharma and Viswanatha Satyanarayana at a 
Literary Meet in Ravindra Bharathi , Hyderabad : India : 1969
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