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A Magnificent Achievement
|by Dr. Rama Rao Vadapalli V.B.|
Mukunda Rama Rao, 1901 nundi nobel kavitvam, kavula jeevita-kavitva visheshaalu
Mukunda Rama Rao’s book on Nobel Laureates in Poetry is unique and the very first of its kind in Telugu. Thirty-seven Nobel Prize winners from 1901 to 2011, their lives and distinctive writing are all provided with meticulous care in the book, which got a publication grant from Central Institute of Indian Languages. Nobel book has been a stepping stone for the remarkable achievement of the poet-translator and literary enthusiast. For one thing, it is an arduous task getting English translations of the poems of world-renowned poets. Then this author translated poems from English of poems in European and other languages also. It is a stupendous effort of translating the poems into Telugu, really a labour of poetic love and admiration.
A tree is always walking somewhere in the rain
Sully Prudhomme, the first to won the Nobel in the year of inception 1901 for his poetry in French:
In this World
In this world all flowers would wither away
Eugenio Montale was the winner in 1975. The author Mukunda Rama Rao calls this writer a combination of comfort and grief. Born in Genoa, the poet feels that we are not going forward; only seeing but not thinking; we are experiencing time and that is not relevant now.
May my sending off reach you
Latin America’s people’s poet Pablo Neruda of Chile was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1971 two years before his demise. It was the tradition of Chile to send reputed poets to foreign countries for cultural transmission. Here is one of his poems selected by the editors of this book:
Twisting this word
Revered and adored as Viswakavi, Rabindranath Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1913. Here is a very short poem of that great poet rendered into Telugu by the author, which I reverse translated as I did the earlier one:
The Gift of the Humble One
The Desert deeply regrets: ‘Poor you, you bring me a lot of water
Of the thirty-seven Nobel awardees between 1901 and 2011, only three were women. All can be included here as a mark of acclaim for the imaginative fair sex. Gabriela Mistral was the first woman who was the 1945 winner. She belonged to Chile Vikuna in Latin America. The author tells us that the fervent emotion generated love was the inspiration for her poetry. Here is a poem:
My heart feels like one becoming a fluid
Nelly Sachs was the first German, a Jewess, who got the award in 1966. The author quotes herin the epigraph of his note: ‘I wouldn’t have stayed alive if I had not written. Death is my preceptor. Metaphors are my sounds, my dumb cries. I write only to liberate myself from me.’
O, Smoke Chimneys
Even if the worms of skin destroy my body
*Irmia and Yobu are Jeremiah and Job
‘Woman! What is your name?’ ‘I don’t know.’
Mukunda Rama Rao’s work stays alive as long as Telugu readers read his poetry.
The work is undoubtedly monumental.
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