Classic Poetry Series
A. K. Ramanujan
- 10 poems -
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A. K. Ramanujan (16 March 1929 - 13 July 1993)
Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan (Kannada: ್್್್್್್್್
್್್್್್್್್್್ ್್್್್್್್್) (Tamil: ್್್್್್್್್್್್
್್್್್್್್್್್್್ ್್್್್್್್್) also known as A. K.
Ramanujan, was a scholar of Indian literature who wrote in both English and
Kannada. Ramanujan was a Indian poet, scholar and author, a philologist,
folklorist, translator, poet and playwright. His academic research ranged
across five languages: Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Sanskrit, and English. He
published works on both classical and modern variants of these literature and
also argued strongly for giving local, non-standard dialects their due.
He was born into an Iyengar(Brahmin) family in Mysore City on 16 March
1929. His father, Attipat Asuri Krishnaswami, a professor of mathematics at
Mysore University and an astronomer, had a study crammed with books in
English, Kannada. and Sanskrit. The house was alive with ideas. On summer
nights, the children gathered on the third floor terrace while their father
pointed out and explained the constellations. Sometimes at dinner, the
children listened intently as their father translated for their mother the
stories of Shakespeare and other Western classics into Tamil.
Ramanujan's mother was an orthodox Brahmin woman of her time, limited
by custom in the scope of her movement and control, in this way a typical
housewife. Though she was no intellectual practitioner, she was neither
typical nor limited in her learning and imagination. She was widely read in
Tamil and Kannada, and comfortable in the world of ideas.
These were the parents who gave Ramanujan the telling metaphor of father
language and mother tongue that enlightens much of the analysis found in
the essays of this book. By the time his father died, when Ramanujan was
only twenty, the older man had...