Poetry from the Romantic Period to the Present Day
After the romantic upsurge there came poems describing landscape. Pala Narayanan Nair's Keralam Valarunnu (Kerala grows) attempts at an expoition of the landscape, history and culture of Kerala.
Political turmoil also awoke the muse. Vayalar Rama Varma was the person who inspired the growth of communism through his works. At the same time G.Sankara Kurup with his exquisite talent was attempting one of the most remembered poems in the annals of Malayalam Literature. A gyaanapiith Award recipient, Kurup's main works include otakkuzhal (Bamboo flute), Muttukal (beads) and Saahitya Kautukam (4 vols).
Edaseri is another poet who uses rustic images beautifully in his works. One of his best works is Puutappaattu which connects the bizarre and the ordinary with finesse and grace. Moulded on fantasy, the poem is an exposition of the tender love of a 'devil' to a child.
P.Kunjiraaman Nair is another poet whose works carry some message. He has ardently tried to re-establish tradition. He protests against deforestation in one of his poems. In another poem he compares India to a temple which is about to be raided by enemies.
Vailoppolli Sreedhara Menon has taken up very sensitive themes, which has resulted in his works like Kannikkoytu (first harvest) and Makarakoytu (harvest in Makaram). His other works are Kanneerppaatam (field of tears) and Kunnimanikal.
Nalappatt's (1887-1956) Kannuniirttulli (Tear drop) is one of the best elegiac poems in Malayalam. Here the poet mourns the death of his beloved in child birth.
Olappamanna's Nangemakutti depicts the story of a Namboodiri girl who is considered as an outcaste because she fell in love with a Namboodiri belonging to a lower sub-caste. His other main works are jaalakappakshi and Amba.
O.N.V. Kurup's poem naalumanippookkal (Four-O'clock blooms) dwells on the relation between poetic creativity and experience. He has written a number of works among which Ujjayini deserves special mention. It takes us to the court of king Vikramaaditya, where Kalidaasa was the chief poet. Bhumiykkoru charamageetham (Dirge to the earth) is another important work.
Intense poetry and lyricism are the marks of Sugata Kumari's works. Her important works include Paavam maanavahridayam (poor human heart) and Raatri mazha (night rain). In one of her extremely emotional poems Krishna ni enne ariyilla (Krishna, you do not know me) she portrays the picture of a Gopika, who is in love with Lord Krishna, although he does not know her. Baalamani Amma is a poetess who goes to spiritual heights in her poems. Her acceptance of the world is unreserved.
K.Ayyappa Paniker in his earlier poems has paid homage to scientific progress. The conquest of the outer space by Yuri Gagarin was the immediate stimulus that prompted him to write this poem. Paniker's poems are deep and carry a satirical tone along with them. In one of his poems, the following lines have gained at lot of popularity.
Didn't you call me - I who was just a robber- a thief ?
Vishnu Narayanan Namboodiri is a poet who chooses contemporary themes for his writing. Ultimately he connects these themes, to the crises of the spirit which the world is presently facing.
P.Bhaskaran in one of his poems, recalls the intrusion of science where a child stands flabbergasted in front of a network of wires covering the landscape. This poem portrays the wonder and embarrassment which is the result of scientific advancement.
Some of the other contemporary Malayalam poets are N.N.Kakkad, K.V.Ramakrishnan, Balachandran Chullikkad, Vijayalekshmi, Savithri Rajeevan, B.Rajeevan, P.Raman, P.P. Ramachandran, Prabha Varma and Paloor.