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T P Rajeevan’s review of This Ancient Lyre in The Hindu literary review

New Delhi

25 October 2005

This Ancient Lyre: Selected Poems, O.N.V. Kurup, edited by A.J. Thomas

FOR a poet of ONV’s stature, immensely popular and widely acknowledged, This Ancient Lyre itself is a belated publication. But, the dexterity with which it is brought out, edited by A.J. Thomas and published by the Sahitya Akademi, compensates for the lateness. And the poet is fortunate in that the translators are genuinely talented, some among them, like R. Viswanathan, who didn’t live to see this book, T. R. Joy, and Lekshmy Rajeev themselves being poets. Read the rest of this entry »

My Editor’s Note to “This Ancient Lyre”

No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher—Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Anyone who attempts to delve deep into the poetry of ONV Kurup will encounter this truth: the inspired poet, sustained by his great compassion and humaneness, captures beauty through choicest words and offers deep philosophic insights. The poet always strives to empower poetry, enabling it to attend to the spiritual needs of the succeeding generations of sensitive souls. For this, he takes special care to ensure that each of his poems is an inquiry into new realms of aesthetic experience. ONV (as he is referred to affectionately by poetry-lovers) does not even for a moment forget that his commitment, first and foremost, is to the aesthetic aspect of poetry. If it has to fulfill its various other functions, it has to be perfect in form and content in the first place. Word-music, harmonious rhythmic patterns and brimming poetic truth set ONV’s poetry apart. Read the rest of this entry »