Onv Kurup - the Jnapith Award Winner

Poetry is making a comeback to the mainstream Malayali literature with more youngsters writing, reading and appreciating poetry.

The conferring of the Jnanpith award, one of the highest literary honours, upon veteran Kerala-based poet O.N.V Kurup has come as a shot in the arm for the genre across the state - with new poets emerging from their literary cloisters, writers said.

'At a time when poetry was thought to be dying, the Kovalam Literary Festival has honoured the genre by inviting a poet to chair the inaugural session,' Kurup said, addressing the inaugural ceremony of the festival here Saturday.

He urged organisers of literary festivals in the state - especially the Kovalam Literary Festival - to 'focus on the poet who sings of the paradise and the pandemonium'. Poetry should come out of the 'hot house' to make its power of healing felt, he added.

Kurup quoted poet Emily Dickenson to illustrate the power of poetry saying: 'If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.'

The poet then recited one of his self-composed and translated poem 'Crystals of Salt'.

Young Dubai-based Malayali poet Saheera Thangal, who was honoured with the Emerging Writer's award at the opening ceremony by Kerala Education and Culture Minister M.A. Baby, is ready with her second collection of poems 'Ashrama Kannayaka (The Hermitage Girl)' about 'emotional and feminine power'.

Her first collection of poetry, 'Nyanenna Ottavara (Me a Single Line)' has received an overwhelming response.

'It included poems on intense feelings of love, pleasure, sex, social elements and femininity. They have been compared to Kamala Das' English poetry by critics and reviewers,' Thangal, an advertising executive and mother of two, told IANS.

She is inspired by bilingual Malayalam poet and translator Sachidanandan and poetess Kamala Suraiya.

Thangal, who began to write poetry at 13, said 'the resurgence in the love for Malayalam poetry can be put to the...