padya vidya - new series on the art of writing poems

Ramabhadra Dokka (
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 12:58:19 -0400 (EDT)

	padya vidya - New series on the art of writing poems - from
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	  	   SrI viSwanAtha atcyuta dEvarAyalu

padyamA ? vacanamA ?? anAdigA vastunna I praSnanE, maLLI maLLI talacukonTU,
vividha sAraswata manugaDalatO TIvigA tala yettukonTU, prapanca sAhitya 
sAmrAjyamlOnU, BAshABimAnula gunDelalOnU tanakanTU oka paTishThamaina 
sthAnAnni sampAdincukoni, sagouravamgA, sagarvamgA sAgipOtOndi mana telugu 
sAhitI sravanti - tara tarAlugA, palu vidhAlugA.

The evolution of telugu literature has come a long way with lots of ups and 
downs as far as the structures, prosodical meters and the rules of grammar
and Candas are concerned. There was a time when ONLY padya racana, prabandha 
racana and kAvya racana was considered as the REAL art of writing in telugu 
but many of the mis-conceptions have been uprooted by the next generation 
poets with their 'BAva viplavam' and their tendency towards more and more 
flexible and musical structures like pATa, jAnapadam etc.. vacanam also 
evolved simultaneously making its presence felt in an effective way by 
transforming itself from short stories, kathAnikalu and nATikalu into 

But, even after all these years and after so many transformations and 
mutations, the art of writing was never put down and it is heartening to note 
that the beauty of each and every form of literature has been and is being 
appreciated with a subjective analysis and critical eye from the audiences. 
The traditional meters and padya structures are finding their place again in
contempory telugu literature and the inkling and growing passion towards them 
can be clearly seen by the resurgence of the "avadhAna" art in the recent 

The questions like -- " Why should anybody be interested in writing poems ??
what good are they to the changing times ?? what is the peculiraity of POEM 
over VACANAM ?? and why should a telugu person care for preserving these 
traditional literary structures ?? How can one practise this art ?? Is 
'presenting a poem', an effective form of thought process or is it just a 
'covering/coating' that the poet uses in expressing his views ?? " -- keep 
cropping up every now and then, among the circles of literary admirers and 
critics alike.

SrI viSwanAtha atcyuta dEvarAyalu, an acccomplished writer and former Chief 
Engineer, DoorDarshan of India, now settled in Los Angeles, son of none other 
than the literary idol for many, the first telugu gjnAnapITa recipient - late 
SrI viSwanAtha satyanArAyaNa - is undertaking this project of letting all 
those interested to know about the 'padya vidya - the art of writing poems'. 
I'll transcribe his articles as and when he makes them available to us and 
present them in this forum for the benefit of everybody.

In his first part, SrI rAyalu is answering some of the above questions and 
paves way for his future renditions. It is our fortune to make use of his 
knowledge and expertise delivered through his writings, to know things which 
we might not have known thus far or to improve upon our understanding and 
appreciation towards telugu literature, especially the intricacies in the 
forms of these traditional literary structures and the art of writing them.

You may forward your comments, criticism and suggestions to me at --, and I'll try to respond with/post the answer from
SrI rAyalu. Hope this series sets all of us on an exciting literary 


- Ram (Ramabhadra Dokka from