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Marathi poetry, an integral part of Marathi literature, is poetry written in the Marathi language of India.

Earliest Prominent Marathi PoetryEdit

The two poets, Namadev (Devanagari: नामदेव) and Dnyaneshwar (Devanagari: ज्ञानेश्वर), wrote the earliest significant poetry in Marathi. They were respectively born in 1270 and 1275 CE in Maharashtra, India, and both wrote religious poetry. A little over 400 verses in the so-called “abhang” (अभंग) form are authentically attributed to Namdev. Dnyaneshwar composed his poetry in the so-called “owi” (ओवी) form. His compositions Bhavartha Deepika (भावार्थदीपिका), popularly known as Dnyaneshwari (ज्ञानेश्वरी) and Amrutanubhawa (अमृतानुभव) respectively consisted of 9,037 and about 800 “owis” (ओव्या).

16th, 17th, and 18th Century PoetryEdit

Eknath (एकनाथ), who lived in the sixteenth century (1533 – 1599) was the next prominent poet in Marathi. The seventeenth century produced first-rate poets Tukaram (तुकाराम) (1598 – 1649), Mukteshwar (मुक्तेश्वर) (1609 - 1660), Ramdas (रामदास) (1608-1681), Vaman Pandit (वामनपंडित) (1608-1695), Raghunath Pandit (रघुनाथपंडित), and Shridhar Pandit (श्रीधरपंडित) (1658 - 1729). Moropant (मोरोपंत) (1729-1794) was the prime poet of the eighteenth century.

All above poets wrote either religious or semireligious compositions. Some details of the works of the poets whose names are highlighted above are available in their Wikipedia articles. (Very briefly, Ramdas wrote Dasabodh (दासबोध); Vaman Pandit wrote Yathartha Dipika (यथार्थदीपिका); Raghunath Pandit wrote Nala Damayanti Swayamvara (नलदमयंती स्वयंवर); and Shridhar Pandit wrote Harivijay (हरिविजय), Ramavijay (रामविजय), Pandavpratap (पांडवप्रताप), and Shivaleelamrut (शिवलीलामृत)).

Moropant's Aryabharata (आर्याभारत) was the first epic in Marathi.

19th Century PoetryEdit

The early nineteenth century Marathi poetry consisted of “powada” (पोवाडे: ballads), “phataka” (फटके), and "lawani” ("लावण्या), which were composed by “tantakawi” (तंतकवि) or “shahir” (शाहीर). Prominent among those poets were Parasharam (परशराम), Honaji Bal (होनाजी बाळ), Anantaphandi (अनंतफंदी), Ram Joshi (रामजोशी), and Prabhakar (प्रभाकर).

By the time the second half of the nineteenth century commenced, the rule of British East India Company had been firmly established in India, and the consequent study of English and English literature by the elite of Indian society produced in the mid-nineteenth century Marathi composers like Krushnashastri Chipalunkar (कृष्णशास्त्री चिपळूणकर), Kunte (कुंटे), Lembhe (लेंभे), and Mogare (मोगरे) whose Marathi poetry showed influences of both Sanskrit and English poetry. In the fourth quarter of the nineteenth century, inspired by the poetry of English poets like Wordsworth and Tennyson, poets Keshavasuta (केशवसुत) (1866-1905) and Rev. Tilak (रेव्हरंड टिळक) (1862 - ?) extended the horizon of Marathi poetry to encompass beauty in nature, love, romance, and mysticism as the subjects of their poetry.

20th Century Poetry and Latest PoetryEdit

Modern Marathi poetry began with Mahatma Jyotiba Phule's compositions. The later poets like Keshavsuta, Balakavi, Govindagraj, and the poets of Ravi Kiran Mandal like Madhav Julian wrote poetry which was influenced by the Romantic and Victorian English poetry. It was largely sentimental and lyrical.Prahlad Keshav Atre, the renowned satirist and a politician wrote a parody of this sort of poetry in his collection Jhenduchi Phule.

The major paradigm shift in sensibility began in the forties with the avant-garde modernist poetry of BS Mardhekar. In the mid fifties, the 'little magazine movement' gained momentum. It published writings which were non-conformist, radical and experimental. Dalit literary movement also gained strength due to the little magazine movement. This radical movement was influenced by the philosophy of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and challenged the literary establishment which was largely middle class, urban, and upper caste people. The little magazine movement threw up many excellent writers. Bhalchandra Nemade is a well known novelist, critic and poet. The poetry of Arun Kolatkar, Dilip Chitre, Namdeo Dhasal, Vasant Abaji Dahake, Manohar Oak and many other modernist poets is complex, rich and provocative.

The another major paradigm shift in Marathi sensibility began in the nineties with the another avant-garde modernist poetry of poets associated with Abhidhanantar and Shabadavedh. In the post nineties, this 'new little magazine movement' gained momentum and poets like Manya Joshi, Hemant Divate, Sachin Ketkar, Mangesh Narayanrao Kale, Saleel Wagh, Mohan Borse, Nitin Kulkarni, Nitin Arun Kulkarni, Varjesh Solanki, Sandeep Deshpande, Vasant Gurjar touched the new areas of post-modern life. The poetry collections broughtout by Abhidhanantar Prakashan and the regular issues of the magazine Abhidhanantar is taking Marathi poetry to the global standards. Another leading wave in contemporary Marathi poetry is the poetry of non-urban poets like Arun Kale, Bhujang Meshram, Pravin Bandekar.

External LinksEdit


mr:मराठी कविता

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