Kusumagraj: A Legendary Marathi Poet and His 10 Famous Poems
Kusumagraj was the pen name of Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar (1912-1999), one of the most influential Marathi poets and playwrights of the 20th century. He was also a novelist, short story writer, essayist, translator and editor. He received many awards and honors for his literary work, including the Jnanpith Award, the Padma Shri and the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship.
In this article, we will explore the life and works of Kusumagraj, and enjoy some of his 10 famous poems that showcase his poetic genius and social vision. We will also provide a link to download a free PDF of his poems for those who want to read more.
The Life and Works of Kusumagraj
Kusumagraj was born in Pune on February 27, 1912. He completed his primary and secondary education in Nashik and Mumbai. He published his first poem in the magazine Ratnakar in 1930, when he was still a student. He also participated in the Kalaram Temple Satyagraha led by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in 1930, which marked the beginning of his revolutionary poetry.
After graduating with a BA degree in 1934, he worked in the film industry for two years. He then settled in Nashik, where he worked as an editor for various periodicals in Pune, Mumbai and Nashik until 1949. He also edited several textbooks for different subjects. He adopted the pen name Kusumagraj in honor of his sister Kusum, who was younger than him.
Kusumagraj wrote in various genres of literature, but poetry and drama were his forte. He created his own unique style of poetry that was rich in diction and imagery. He expressed his social concern, revolutionary attitude and mastery over language through his poems. He also explored the human aspects of mythological and historical characters, and questioned the meaning of life and existence.
Some of his published poetry collections are Kusumagraj Jeevanlahari (1933), Vishakha (1942), Kinara (1952), Marathi Mati (1960), Swagat (1962), Himresha (1964) and Vadlavvel (1970). Among these, Vishakha is considered as a masterpiece of Marathi poetry that has influenced generations of poets. His poems cover a wide range of themes such as love, nature, patriotism, freedom, social justice, human dignity and spirituality.
Kusumagraj also wrote many plays that were acclaimed for their dramatic element and poetic expression. Some of his independent plays are Dusra Peshwa (1947), Kaunteya (1953), Amcha Naav Baburao (1966), Yayati Ani Devyani (1966), Vij Mhanali Dhartila (1970) and Natsamrat (1971). He also adapted some classic works of literature into Marathi plays, such as Shakespeare's Macbeth, Othello and King Lear.
Kusumagraj died on March 10, 1999 in Nashik at the age of 87. He left behind a legacy of literary excellence that has inspired many writers and readers. He is regarded as one of the makers of modern Marathi literature and culture.
Kusumagraj's 10 Famous Poems
Here are some of the 10 famous poems by Kusumagraj that reflect his poetic talent and vision. We have provided a brief summary and translation of each poem for your convenience.
This poem is about the ultimate achievement of a poet who writes for the sake of humanity. The poet says that he does not care about fame or wealth, but only about expressing his feelings and thoughts through his words. He says that he is not afraid of death or criticism, but only of being silent or dishonest. He says that his only reward is the satisfaction of writing for the people who suffer and struggle in this world ec8f644aee