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RR
23rd March 2011, 10:52 PM
Many of you would've followed Dr. Pasupathy's "kavithai iyaRRik kalakku" series published in Hub magazine. It's being released as a book by Dr Thiruppur Krishnan on 27 March, Sunday. See details below:

http://www.mayyam.com/talk/attachment.php?attachmentid=171&d=1300897215

P_R
24th March 2011, 09:56 AM
Great News.
After many attempts trying to read the backissues for the series/ do the exercises regularly, I gave up nursing the hope it would be released as a book.

Some qns:

1) Is the event open to only the members of bharathi kalai kazhagam?
2) Will copies be available for purchase at the function venue? (the scrawl in the invitation seems to say so, just wanted to confirm).

RR
24th March 2011, 11:31 PM
P_R,

I think the event is open to all. And copies should be available. That's what I hear.

P_R
27th March 2011, 09:18 PM
Today morning was well spent at a function releasing the Prof.Pasupathy's 'கவிதை இயற்றி கலக்கு'.
Had the chance to listen to Thiruppoor Krishnan, Vetriazhagan, Thamizhazhagan and Ilandhai Ramaswamy's speeches. Thoroughly enjoyable.

I have listened Thiruppoor Krishnan's precise, scholarly, well structured speeches many times and today's was no exception. He brought out his experience of reading the book, marabukkavidhai in general and enjoyable literary anecdotes. He particularly underlined how well the examples had been chosen by Prof. Pasupathi, thus making the reading an enjoyable literary experience, rather than a dry grammatical treatise. While poetry itself cannot be taught, he contended that with if a marubbakavidhai did not 'click' one would atleast have the basic enjoyability of form as a residue. புதுக்கவிதை நீர்த்துப்போனால் ஒன்றும் மிஞ்சாது, மரபுக்கவிதை நீர்த்துப்போனால் செய்யுளாவது மிஞ்சும். And then he spoke about form-level challenges that some poets had taken up and excelled, thereby elevating the literary experience considerably.

Vetriazhagan - spoke about the general lack of awareness about grammar and attributed the preference for 'free verse' largely to 'shying away from the learning of grammar' than the usual cliche that is bandied about: 'to learn and then to break'. He emphasized the coincidence of grammar and literature. Familiarity with thirukkuRaL, he claimed, served as sufficient ready-reckoner to go to whenever one had any grammatical queries. So even if one didn't quite study tholkAppiyam, thirukkuRaL would do one as much justice.

He was critical of those who arrogate themselves due to their own ignorance and gave some examples which thrilled me:

Apparently in the new textbooks being written for the சமச்சீர் கல்வித்திட்டம் have decided the spelling out to be : நாட்டுப்புரம் and not நாட்டுப்புறம்.
On first glance, it does not strike the uninitiated as odd. One tends to think of நாட்டுபுரம் as the equivalent of countryside. After all புரம் is the suffix for location, that we know. But புறம் means the outer, the other, that which is not (புறம்பான). 'That which is away', i.e. non-urban is what நாட்டுப்புறம் actually means. It is a definition by negation! It is this sort of basic understanding, he claimed, that is found lacking.

Etymology just came naturally to him. The man apparently changed his name from Jayaraman to Vetriazhagan. Vetri for Jayam was easy. But what to replace Raman with? In his early days he apparently tried many combinations like Vetrichelvan etc. which did not quite stick. Kamban came to the rescue. When Bharathan asks Guhan where Rama, Sita and Lakshmana spent the night, Guhan says 'அழனும் அவளும் துஞ்ச'. Now, when I read this I thought 'azhagan' was just a 'description' of Rama. Nope - it is a pretty literal translation, says Vetriazhagan: ராமன்-னா அழகன். ராமி-ன்னா அழகி. அபிராமி-ன்னா பேரழகி.

He went on to emphasize that, contrary to popular perception, poetry gave plenty of leeway to those who wanted to write: செந்தொடை that accommodated those seized by poetic afflatus, விகாரங்கள் that permitted copping off parts of words to fit metre - trusting the reader to infer with context, and so on. In fact it is உரைநடை, he said, that cut one no slack at all! While he himself had written a book யாப்பதிகாரம், he gracefully appreciated Pasupathy's inclusion of plenty of information and topics, that he had himself not had the chance to include in his work.

Thamizhazhagan spoke about the how grammar isn't some external 'rule' being applied, but quite simply a codification of what 'naturally falls into place'. After all, the இயற்று in the title itself shares roots with இயல்பு! While literature was about the nuance of communicating to reach an objective (இலக்கு + இயம்), he mentioned how grammar, was about the manner in which the objective was wholesomely reached (இலக்கு + அணைத்தல்). He was bursting in the seams with literary anecdotes where a basic understanding of grammar would have prevented crucial misinterpretation, misquoting which get perpetuated as literature is handed down.

Ilanthai Ramasamy - who apparently runs a googlegroups that has a lot of active members learning the nuances of Tamil poetic grammar. He talked about the huge demand on the net for such learning and all that was needed was guidance and motivation to feed the creativity. He gave some examples of complex structures, import and adaptation of Western poetic forms that their group have adopted and toyed with.

Thoroughly enjoyable series of speeches it turned out to be. I had initially planned to buy the book and give the slip early, as my appetite for literary meetings is rather low. However this one was thoroughly enjoyable with scholars expounding information one wouldn't have had the chance to listen to elsewhere.


Me, well I enthusiastically started reading when the series started. Faithfully doing அலகுபிரித்தல் exercises and then promptly let interest wane and added 'reading the series' to my New Year resolutions list, It thrived there for about 3-4 New Years in a row.

I do not fancy myself a poet and harbor unfavorable opinions about the 'democratization' that free-verse has achieved. Of course, the loss is mine, I am pig-headed and all that. So be it. I demand some sweat and agonization of my artists and feel prosody is some kind of 'proof' of the same. Of course that is the least of the reasons, the sheer joy of rhythm being the principal motivation.

My motivation to read this is not so much equip myself with writing skills, but largely to develop a more nuanced appreciation of the vast corpus of literature that we have inherited - whatever fistful we can manage to clutch.

I do not consider myself equal to astronomical debates to whether Chithirai 1 is a New Year or not. But I could sure use a New Year soon to get started on delivering on my resolution this time.

RR
28th March 2011, 09:26 AM
Prabhu Ram,

Great review! Joy to read your writeup (as usual). :thumbsup: I think you have a lot to offer to - call it literature or not - writings in general. So I look forward to your new year resolution.