Mahakavi Devkota: The legend lives on

- Kumar Sharma, Kathmandu
Mahakavi Devkota: The legend lives on

Oct 22, 2014-

Laxmi Puja is being celebrated across the country on Thursday. But for many Nepalis, the day is also important for another reason altogether: it’s the birth anniversary of Laxmi Prasad Devkota—arguably the greatest poet the country has ever had.

Devkota, popularly addressed as ‘Mahakavi’, has had a colossal influence on Nepali literature, and the great poet is often credited with setting a new trend in Nepali literary writing, with his powerfully expressed ideas, soul-stirring stories and his willingness to depart from the conventional writing styles in his works.

Poet Devkota was not just a huge inspiration amongst his contemporaries but also continues to inspire and influence many writers of today. Contemporary writer Nayan Raj Pandey, known for his works like Loo and Ular, says that his fascination with Devkota began right from his school days, when he had to go through many of the poet’s works in the course curricula.

“I admire Muna Madan the most amongst his works, as the story is that of a common man, his hardships and his yearnings—all told in a remarkably simple form,” says Pandey. “Devkota was amazing at both selecting the right content and for rendering them in beautiful stories.”

Buddhi Sagar, a popular poet and fiction writer, wants to read Devkota more as an essayist. But he equally adores his poetic skills. “Even though his works like Muna Madan are more known among most readers because of his using colloquial folk diction and metre, his free-verse poems and prose works are, to me, more compelling,” he says. “His poetic strength and versatility can be observed in poems like Pagal, where he makes use of powerful and vivid imagery.”

“When it comes to essays,” adds Sagar, “it is Shankar Lamichhane whom we often talk about. But that’s because we have not looked at Devkota’s non-fictional works in depth.”

To go with his unmatched skills as a writer, Devkota was also extraordinarily

prolific. The fact that he completed writing Sulochana, one of his popular epics, in a matter of 10 days is still a part of the legends of Nepali literature.

Published: 23-10-2014 08:35

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