Poems by Siva Reddy, Varavara Rao and Ismail

Three Telugu Poets

01 October 2014

Translated by Raj Karamchedu

About The Poems For most Indian readers in English, contemporary poetry in Telugu lies below the horizon, its existence sometimes reported but never directly encountered. But even from this very small sample of the work of three Telugu poets, translated by the novelist Raj Karamchedu, it’s clear that this is a field as exciting as any other in Indian literature. Whether it is Siva Reddy’s poem about two human subjects and a burrow, Varavara Rao’s remarkable poem about speaking corpses and deaths in police custody, or Ismail’s unforgettable image of a real turtle inside a well and a metaphorical one inside the human mind, here are voices, images, rhythms and metaphors that proclaim a burning faith in  the power of poetry to both reveal and imagine the world afresh.


Siva Reddy is a highly regarded poet, and won the 1990 Sahitya Akademi Award for Telugu literature.

Varavara Rao is a poet and a key figure of the progressive literary movement in Telugu. He was a founding member of Virasam (Revolutionary Writers’ Association), which was formed in the early 1970s.

Ismail is a prominent Telugu poet.

Keywords: translation telegu poetry