Gunturu Seshenrdra Sharma(20th October 1927-30th May 2007)better known as seshendra, poet/critic/scholar was born on 20th October 1927 in Andhra pradesh (India). Parents; Late subrahmanyam, Late Mrs ammaayamma, married to Janaki, Children; Ms.Vasundhara, Ms, Revathi (daughters,), Vanamaali, Saatyaki (sons)-Graduated from the Andhra Christian college (guntur A.P), did Law from the Madras University, He worked as Deputy Municipal Commissioner in The government of Andhra Pradesh for 37 years. He knows Telugu, English, Hindi and Sanskrit proficiently.
It was with a translation from Mathew Arnold"s"Shahnama" the Persian Epic that Seshendra first appeared in Print (1952) Inevitably a Poet is known mainly for the works that brought recognition to him. We shall think of seshendra primarily as the author of*my country my people* Modern epic, SESHA JYOTSNA, The burning Sun, poet’s notebook" Arc of blood (Rakta Rekha),"TURNED INTO WATER AND FLED AWAY, GORILLA, ME AND MY PEACOK OR THE PEACOCK AND MY ME.
Epics like ADHUNIK MAHABHARATHAM, JANAVAMSAM Spiralled his emergence on the Indian literary scene establishing him as a major voice of the country. Added to this are his books of criticism "SHODASI"(A TANTRIC COMMENTARY OF VALMIKI’S RAMAYAN) SWARNA HAMSA (A TANTRIC COMMENTARY OF HARSHA Bhatta"s naishadhiya charitam) and KAVI SENA MANIFESTO (ADHINIK KAVYA SASTRA) besides short stories and plays.
He is recipient of the central Sahitya academy Fellow ship, the highest honour in the literary world of India reserved forimmortals of literature. Yuva kalaa Vaahini, a popular cultural organisation felicitated him recently and honoured him with the title seshendra; visionary poet of the Millennium. His anthology of the Millennium poems’. FROM WORD TO CENTURY has been brought out by JYOTHSNA PUBLICATIONS in October 2000. Here are some poems from that anthology.
It is impossible to read these poems without arriving at Seshendra’s prodigious talent. In his poetry there is enormous variety, a skill in condensing the most difficult dialectics of life into ordinary dialogue, highest concepts of mind emerge as a form of powerful and moving literature, giving to its readers fresh thinking and growth…… His poetry is an instrument against darkness and absolute inertia of this generation, a revolt against the present crisis, not of one country, but the crisis of the whole mankind, the crisis of the century.
This is the age when human values which in the past were merely tenets of religious preaching are converted into demands of the people all over the world. They have become the flags and slogans of the 20th century. The total picture of this spirit of 20th century is poetry of Seshendra, a rationalized concept, extracted by mature comprehension of the trends of modern history.
Seshendra’s mind is a laboratory where he distills experience and pictures poems where he experiments with evasive concepts and binds them as one would with twine symbols and words to graft a new poetic personality for this age. The poet wants a dynamic power to be infused into the spine of poetry which would rise to its full height and capture the imagination of the present generation. These poems are a peremptory need of today.
In his introduction to his notebook "THE ARC OF BLOOD" Seshendra says
"We are children of a century which has seen revolutions, awakenment of large masses of people over the earth and their emancipation from slavery and colonialism wresting equality from the hands of brute forces and forging links of brotherhood across mankind. This century has seen peaks of human knowledge; unprecedented intercourse of peoples and perhaps for the first time saw the world stand on the brink of the dilemma of one world or destruction. It is a very inspiring century, its achievements are unique. A poet who is not conscious of this context fails in his existence as poet.
HYDERABAD: An era of scholastic excellence and poetic grandeur has come to an end in the passing away of Gunturu Seshendra Sarma, one of the foremost poets and critics in Telugu literature.
His mastery over western literature and Indian `Alankara Sastra' gave his works a stunning imagery, unparalleled in modern Indian works. One of the ironies in literature is that he came to be known more as a critic than a poet. The Central Sahitya Akademi award was conferred on him for his work `Kaala Rekhalu' and not for his poetic excellence.
The genius in him made him explore `Kundalini Yoga' in his treatise on Ramayana in `Shodasi' convincingly. His intellectual quest further made him probe `Naishadha Kaavya' in the backdrop of `Lalita Sahasra Naamavali', `Soundarya Lahari' and `Kama Kala Vilasam' in `Swarna Hamsa', Dr. Suprasannacharya once recalled.
Seshendra saw the entire universe as a storehouse of images and signs to which imagination was to make value-addition. Like Stephene Mallarme who was considered a prophet of symbolism in French literature, Seshendra Sarma too believed that art alone would survive in the universe along with poetry. He believed that the main vocation of human beings was to be artists and poets.
His `Kavisena Manifesto' gave a new direction to modern criticism making it a landmark work in poetics. Telugus would rue the intellectual impoverishment they suffered in maintaining a `distance' from him. Seshendra could have given us more, but we did not deserve it! The denial of the Jnanpeeth Award to him proves it.
India’s National News Paper
June, 01, 2007
Courtesy ... The Hindu