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Gems of Telugu Poetry – ‘chaaTuvu’ (2)

The smallest metered poem in Telugu language is ‘kanda’ poem.  It is built with letters (alphabets) which can be arranged with in the space of a maximum of 64 maatras in all (a short alphabet is equivalent to one maatra and a long alphabet or a double consonant is equivalent to two maatras), distributed in four lines of equal lengths of 1st and 3rd lines; 2nd and 4th lines.  Many poets in Telugu language have very effectively handled it and fascinated by the way the ‘meter’ organizes the poem, there were even poets who have taken a very special liking and interest in writing poetry only in ‘kanda’ meter.

Srinadha Mahakavi, one of the high-ranking poets of Telugu classical poetry, was equally famous for his ‘chaaTu’ poems that he told wherever and whenever he found occasions for poetry during his visits to the different parts of Telugu country.  One of his famous ‘chaaTu’ poems, a poem in ‘kanda’ in meter, ‘sirigala vaaniki chellunu’ has already been discussed at Srinadha’s Chaatu poems…(1). This poem is the one poem, which has in it all the qualities of a perfect ‘chaaTu’ poem. Telugu speaking people continue to adore it, preserve it and pass it on to the next generation as they got it from their past generations.

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