Re. matta kOkila chandassu.

30 Apr 97 16:42:28 -0700

I read the entertaining letter by Sri Veluri on matta kOkila chandassu. 
Chandassu can be a fun to play, I agree. Also I would like to add that 
like any other tool, chandassu can be used, misused or absued.  
Because tools can not defend themselves, they are too often blamed for 
bad results.  
With a length of N positions, we have theoratically 2 to-the-power-of N 
distinct combinations, each a vRitta chandas in its own right. But from 
all such combinations possible in Vritta series' of length 1 trhu 26, 
we have but a handful of metres popular.  This is perhaps due to the 
beauties of their respective 'naDaka' or 'flow'.  May be there are still 
a lot of combinations waiting for some body to explore and popularize. 
It would be a real fun to hunt for such new vRitta combinations. 
While some Vrittas have beuatiful flow embedded, such flow usually 
is not that rigid. The poet tunes the flow by employing word breaks 
to suit his requirements.  
But some poems have too inflexible flow. I believe matta kOkila is 
one such vRittam. It is relly hard to alter the flow. If you try, it 
is not pleasing. At least to my knowledge. There are other Vrittas 
with such fixed flows. Thta could be one reason why chands like the 
matta kOkila was used in traditional poetry some waht sparingly. 
I wonder whether it would be a great idea for research, - if not already 
attempted-, to understand how kavitrayam have selected their metres. 
What general general guidelines they followed while selecting a perticular 
metre for a perticular context. We can not dismiss that the selection of 
metres is entirely random. This could be a good topic for discussion and 
it would be a lot educating and entertaining. 
I honestly believe that overuse and abuse have spelled doom for the 
traditional chandObaddha kavitvam.  
Poets like all artists, are not slaves to the tools they employ. 
Though important, tools won't produce artists. It is always 
artists, who comes up with useful tools and masters them. At times, 
the accured knwledge about the make & behaviour of a tool becomes  
so immense and burdensome for mediocre and uninitiated. I think  
we must not derive fun from mediocracy.  It could be a serious 
threat to the real art. 
Long time back, I was on a tourist bus which took us to an art 
gallory. A few of us went inside. When we came back, we found 
that a lot of frinds have purchased *art* works in the local 
stores. Some even have some oil paintings. But all were cheap. 
There was no art there. Only oil and painting.  
In all art forms, only few master the art, but many stop before 
any acheivement. Some of them, find ways to sell their products. 
General public sees what is in the market.  
Why I am writing all this?  
May be it is not too relavent to the current topic. But I must 
hasten to add that I would like to see serious poetry revived. 
Some people may take real interest in so-called classical poetry 
and do constructive work. 
I would be fun to do some constructive work and contribute to 
the health of the ailing art of traditional poetry. 
It could be a real game. Tough against opponents who would love to 
drive nails to the coffin of this old art form. 
It would be real fun too. 
_Syamala Rao.