Viswanatha Satyanarayana

Viswanatha Satyanarayana (Telugu: విశ్వనాథ సత్యనారాయణ) (10 September 1895 – 18 October 1976), popularly known as the Kavi Samraat (Emperor of Poetry), was a Telugu literary giant of the 20th century. His multifaceted contributions to Telugu literature included works in poetry, novels, drama, short stories and speeches, covering a wide range of subjects such as analysis of history, philosophy, religion, sociology, political science, linguistics, psychology and consciousness studies, epistemology, aesthetics and spiritualism. His encyclopaedic knowledge is evident from the wide range of subjects he dealt in his works.

He was a disciple of the Tirupati Venkata Kavulu duo. Viswanatha's style of poetry was classical in nature and his popular works include Ramayana Kalpa Vrukshamu (Ramayana the wish-granting divine tree), Kinnersani patalu (Mermaid songs) and Veyipadagalu (The Thousand Hoods).

He was awarded the Jnanpith Award and Padma Bhushan in 1970.

The parallel "free-verse" movement in easy prose of Telugu literature criticized him as a bigot who hung onto the strict rules of poetry such as Yati, Prasa (rhyme) and Chandas (meter). However this only covers a part of the wide variety of literature he created. At the same time, there was no contemporary in Telugu literature who could match his depth of the subjects he covered and his mastery of literature. A book with his memories compiled has been released.

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