THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Noted poet Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri’s poetry transcends all realms, space and time, discussing topics as diverse as science, politics, philosophy and spirituality. As an ode to the deceased poet, his friend and relative M N Namboodiri has come up with Nights and Days in Ujjaini, a collection of English translations of his poems.
More than fifty Malayalam poems by the poet find their place in the book. The work which began four years ago contains the poet’s earlier works to the most recent one. This compendium of translated work is divided into three categories. While the first column carries the original poem, the second contains the transliterated work and the third contains the translated version.
“Each page is like reading three pages. You will find the original poem, its transliteration and translated version,” says Bhaskaramenon Krishnakumar who wrote the preface to the book. As many as 53 poems have been included in the book. During the earlier stages of the work, there were consultations with the poet and later, the elements that the poet shared in the literary discussions also helped, he says.
Remarking that the three poets whom Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri admired the most were W B Yeats, Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon and Kalidasa, Bhaskaramenon says the poet’s evolution can be seen in his poems. “His evolution as a poet can be gleaned from the poems. The poet started by writing romantic poems and later on delved into high-end spirituality. It is not easy to handle his poems, and his work spanning a broad spectrum of poetry,” he says.
According to Bhaskaramenon, there are no takers for the poet’s legacy. “Science and politics are equally discussed in his poem. In Einstein’s Guest, he weaved a poem based on a meeting between Einstein and Heisenberg. It isn’t a theme that normally conforms to traditional poetic form,” he adds. The book is expected to hit the market soon.