Kavi Choudappa Satakam (rendered into English) -(9)

Kavi Choudappa Satakam (rendered into English) -(9)

kaakulu veavealokka tu
paaki ravamu vinna nuliki paDavaa mari naa
Dhaakaku nagu naalaagea
kaakavulaku guMdavarapu kavi chouDappaa!

కాకులు వేవేలొక్క తు
పాకి రవము విన్న నులికి పడవా మఱి నా
ఢాకకు నగు నాలాగే
కాకవులకు గుందవరపు కవి చౌడప్పా!         (In Telugu font)

don’t the crows even when in thousands in number
scatter when they hear the sound of a gun shot;
it too happens likewise to all unworthy poets when
they hear my name, Oh Kumdavarapu Kavi Choudappaa!

The Telugu word ‘kukavi’ or ‘kaakavi’ means a bad poet or unworthy poet. In the conventionally accepted ways of authoring a work (a Kavya)  in metered-poetry, poems criticizing the bad poets (known as ‘kukavi nimda’) forms one of the introductory parts.  When one goes  through any of these poems that described ‘kukavi nimda, it can be understood that the definition of a bad poet or ‘kukavi’ in those days could be summarized as one who always tried to find fault with the poets who told good poetry by following the ways clearly laid out by the elders and great poets of previous generations; one who thought himself as capable of correcting the wrongs committed by a poet and suggested ways for improvement, without asking him to do so. This undeserving criticism, that is, criticizing a work of poetry for just criticism sake, will not go well with the poet who authored the work and naturally pains him.

Kavi Choudappa, himself being a powerful criticizer of bad practices in real life and poetic works as well, through this poem says he was in fact one who made these bad poets (‘kukavis’) shiver with fear to venture to criticize his poetry in the manner they tried to do with other poets’ works.

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