THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Noted poet Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri’s poetry prompts one to look within, nudging the consciousness towards a universal whole. His poems touch upon all aspects of life and opens up a vast spectrum of changing times to his readers, said poet Madhusoodanan Nair.
He was speaking on the occasion of the online release of ‘Nights and Days in Ujjayini’, the English translation of poems by Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri. He released the book by handing over a copy to poet Prabha Varma. The book, translated by MN Namboodiri is published by the Centre for South Indian Studies and was designed by noted calligrapher Narayana Bhattathiri.
“Usually translation of great poetry is difficult, as the translator has to get into the skin of the poet, and grasp the inner workings of his mind. I do hope this translation is able to garner readers from across the globe, so that the whole world acknowledges Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri’s poetically brilliant vision of life,” he said. He was also all praise for Bhattathiri’s artistic rendering of the book.
Prabha Varma said Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri’s poems are akin to guiding lights in the modern world. “He has left for us a collection of poems that guides the new generations towards the paths they ought to tread. Only a visionary like him can write poetry that foresees what lies ahead. The translation was aptly able to capture the essence of his poetry without losing out on its soul,” he said.
Translator M N Namboodiri joined the virtual ceremony from California. Artist Bhattathiri, Vishnu Narayannan Namboodiri’s daughters Dr N Adithi, Aparna Sreekumar, sons-in-law advocate Venmani Radhakrishnan Namboodiri, Sreekumar Kakkad and Jessy Narayanan of Malayalam Pallikkoodam also spoke. Children recited Namboodiri’s poems.
The book is a collection of notable poems by Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri and includes ‘Nights and Days in Ujjaini’, ‘Remembering Shelly’, ‘The Poet’s Guest’, ‘Childhood Love’, ‘Vanaprastha’ and ‘Phases of the Moon’. Madassery Neelakantan Namboodiri who translated the work is a researcher in Nuclear Chemistry at Stony Brook University, New York, A&M University Texas and University of California Livermore Laboratory for more than 60 years.