greatest Malayalam poet is rightly regarded as the Father of Malayalam poetry.
His renowned creations are two great epics, 'Adhyathmaramayana' and 'Mahabharatha'
and two short pieces 'Irupathinalu vritham' and 'Harinama keerthanam'.
Poonthanam Nambudiri,a mastero who could be Ezhjuthachan's equal in 'Bhakthi',
If not in poetic power. 'Bhashakarnamrutham', 'sandanagopalam' and 'Jnanappana'
are his great works.
The greatest fillip to the growth of Attakatha as a literary form and kathakali
as a performing art came from Kottayam Thampuran (17th century), the prince
of Northern Kottayam. Bakavadham',' Kalyana Saughandikam','Kirmiravadham'
and 'Kalakeyavadham' are his masterpieces.
The early quarter of 18th century, saw the enrichment of Kath kali literature.
Unnaiwarrier's contribution to Kathakali includes his famous work 'Nalacharitham'
in four volumes.
Ramapurathu warrier introduced 'Vanchipattu' (boat song), a poetic form with
folk origin. 'Kuchelavrutham' is considered, his best.
Kunchan Nambiar introduced a new performing art form, 'Thullal' which literally
means dance, as a substitute for 'Chakiar kuthu', a new style of verse narration
with a little background music and rhythmic body movements. One of the popular
performing arts today, 'Thullel', distinguished on the basis of the performer's
costume and style of rendering, Viz. 'Ottan', 'Parayan', and 'Seethankan'.
Nambiar's masterpieces are 'Syamanthakam', 'Ghoshayatra', 'Kiratham', 'santhanagopalam','Patracharitham','
Karthaveeryarjuna Vijayam',' Bhakavadham', 'Kalyanasaughandikam' 'Hariniswayamvaram','
Tripuradahanam'and Sabhapravesam'. Nambiar who was an extrovert, observed
the life around very closely.and was also very critical on the social evils
he saw around him.
Kumaranasan initiated the poetic revolution in the first quarter of the 20th
century, to transform Malayalam poetry from metaphysical to lyrical. Deep
moral and spiritual commitment was part of Asan's personality. 'Veenapoovu',
'Nalini', 'Leela', 'Chintavishtayaya Sita', 'Duravasta', 'Chandala bhikshuki'',
and 'Karuna' are eloquent testimony of Asan's poetic concentration and dramatic
Ullur S. Parameswara Iyer.
Ullur, second in the grand poetic trinity of the 20th century, was a master
in all the techeneques of classical poetry. Wrote numerous Khandakavyas, the
famous ones are the 'Karnabhushanam' and 'Pingala'.
Vallathol Narayana Menon
Vallathol master in classicism, but his native genius was romantic. He took
part in all the neo-classical verities of poetry and even wrote a 'Mahakavya'.
Most sensuous of the three poets; his themes were real life situations in
the society.. Vallathol chiseled expressions to the newly awakened nationalism
both in political and cultural terms. His major works are 'Bhandanastanaya
Anirudhan', 'Sishyanum makanum(Disciple and the son) 'Magdalana Mariyam' and
'Sahitya manjari (Literary anthology) in four volumes.
Nalappat Narayana Menon
Among the second generation of romantic poets, it was Nalappat Narayana Menon,
who was close to the poetic trinity of Asan, Ullur and Vallathol. He is remembered
for his classic legacy on the death of his wife, 'Kannuneerthulli' (Tear drop)
one of the best meditative lyrics in Malayalam. On enlightenment from the
English elegiac poets, he speculated on the meaning of life by the experience
Kuttippurathu Kesavan Nair (1883-1959)
Pallathu Raman (1892-1950) K.M Panikar (1893-1963), contributed their own
style to Malayalam poetry .
G.Sankara kurup (1900-1978)
G. Sankara Kurup, a romantic poet, brought up in the classicist tradition
of Ulloor and Vallathol, was greatly influenced by Rabindra nath Tagore. He
emerged as the major voice of the 30's, passed through various stages of evolution,
namely mysticism, symbolism, realism and socialist realism. His popular lyrical
and meditative poems are 'Nakshatra gitam' (Song of the star)' Suryakanthi
(the sun flower) 'Innu njan nale nee' (Today I tomorrow thou) 'Nimisham' (The
moment) and 'Viswadarsanam' (The cosmic vision) are imbued with a spiritual
earnestness which often brings him close to Kumaranasan's poetry. His dramatic
monologue ' Perumthachan' (the master carpender) is one of the masterpieces
in that genre of Malayalam literature.
Wrote with in the Vallathol framework, his theme being the scenes in every
P. Kunhiraman Nair (1909-1978)
This poet was an identifiable champion of the native tradition of life and
an unwearied admirer of the beauty of Kerala landscape.
Nalapattu Balamani Amma (1909 )
The greatest poetess Kerala has ever produced, excellent at domestic theme
as well as speculative philosophy. Her monologues on Parasurama, Viswamitra,
Mahabali and Vibishana gave new dimensions to Vallathol's portrayals of puranic
charactors and episodes. She is the niece of Nalappat NarayanaMenon and mother
of the famous writer Kamala Das.
Edapplli Raghavan pillai (1909-1936)
One of the renowned modern Malayalam poets, brought out and emphasized the
finer elements, which were often muted in the poems of Vallathol School. His
poetry reminds us of a vibrant melody played on a single string instrument.
Before he committed suicide in 1936, he wrote a few excellent lyrics in the
pure romantic strain without the hang over of Neo-classicism. The close alliance
between nature and the poet is visible in his poems. Raghavan pilllai's best
poem is perhaps 'Maninadam'.
Changampuzha Krishnapillai (1911-1948)
Changampuzha, Edappalli's companion, a man with an incurable idealism, which
saw the world in primary colors. Masterpiece among his works is a pastoral
play in verse called 'Ramanan'. With Cahngampuzha, Malayalam poetry came directly
under the influence of world poetry. A prolific writer with an ever-widening
relationship, was susceptible to different kinds of influences. His poems
extolled and contemned Vedic culture vehemently. He denounced socialism while
hailing Marx. Rakkkilikal' (1946), a duet recited by a young man and a woman,
calling up the sleeping world to awaken to a better and brighter day. 'manaswini'
(1947) an auto-biographical poem where the poet pays his homage in glowing
words. In1948, he passed away bringing the magic world of romanticism to a
Vailoppilli Sreedhara Menon (1911-1985)
Vailoppilli , perhaps the last of our links with Vallathol, survived the
flood tide of Changampuzha's poetry. He started publishing poems in the late
forties,among his poems 'Mampazham'. 'Sahyante makan', 'Oonjalinmel', 'Kudiyozhikkal'
etc are the famous ones.
P. Bhaskaran, Edassery Govindan Nair and N.V Krishnawarrier were the predecessors
of Edappalli School.
The preliminary short story writers in Malayalam were Vengayil Kunhiraman
Nayanar (1861-1915) Ambadi Narayana Pothuval (1871-1936) K.Sukumaran (1876-1956)
and M.R.K.C or Chenkulathu Kunhirama Menon (1882- 1940). They developed a
new mode by incorporating the western narrative method with the native story
telling tradition. The stories of the early decades of the 20th century were
quaint accounts of episodes, which provided entertainment to the literate
people only. By the 30's the short story began to forge ahead to become universal.
Karoor Neelakanda Pillai 1898-1974)
A humanist to the core, while using satire he had his sympathies in the right
quarters and proportion. His best stories are ''marappavakal' (The wooden
dolls) 'Poovanpazham' (Bananas) and 'Mothiram' (The ring)
P. Kesava Dev (1904-1983)
A politically oriented writer, had sympathies for the oppressed classes,
who is always impatient about the aesthetic side. 'MeenkaranKoran', reveals
both Dev's thematic obsessions and his technique of narration.
Ponkunnam Varkey (1908_)
A writer concerned with socio- political reality whose early stories were
open attacks on the church. His younger contemporary, Ponhikkara Raphi continued
for a time, tirade against the tyranny
Vaikkam Muhammad Basheer(1912-1994)
Vaikkam Muhmmmad Basheer, a great writer as well as a social critic. His
mastery in humor and satire is fully revealed in almost all his stories.his
main titles include 'Poovanpazham', 'Bhargavinilayam', 'Mucheetukalikkarante
makal (A gamblers daughter), 'Pathummayudeadu', 'Mathilukal', 'Balyakala sakhi','intuppuppakkoranendarnnu'
S.K Pottakkad (1913- 1982)
S.K's interest in psychology than in social reality is revealed in his stories
like 'Stri' (women) ' Vadhu' (The bride) and 'Nisaghandi' (Flower of the night).
The absence of a propagandist obsession enables him to use a poetic style.
Some of his stories are with backgrounds other than Kerala. 'Vishakanyaka',
'Odayilninnu' 'orudesathintekatha' etc are his famous novels.
Thakazi Sivasnkara Pillai (1914-
Thakazi Sivasankara pillai, started as a short story writer in the line of
Guy- De Mauppasant, probably introduced to him by Kesari A Balakrisnapillai.He
has an unerring eye for telling details in a simple unadorned style. One of
his early works is 'Vellappokkam' (Floods) His themes concern the life of
the peasants and the have-nots. 'Chemmeen and 'Kayar' are his famous Novels
was awarded Jnanpeeth in the year 1998.