Renowned Kannada poet Lakshminarayana passes away

Renowned Kannada poet N S Lakshminarayana Bhatta passes away

Prof Bhatta was a Sahitya Akademi winner and had translated 50 of William Shakespeare sonnets into Kannada

Kannada poet and critic NS Lakshminarayana Bhat. Credit: DH File Photo

Renowned Kannada poet, eminent academic, and critic Prof N S Lakshminarayana Bhatta (85) passed away on Saturday morning in Bengaluru. Known as 'NSL' in the literary circles and Kannada music world, Lakshminarayana Bhatta was born in Shivamogga in 1936.

A former dean and Kannada professor at Bangalore University, NSL's poems gave a new direction to the Kannada Light Music (Sugama Sangeeta) world. 

Achieving a blend of tradition and modernity in his poems, Prof NSL was one of the finest poets of modern Kannada literature (Navya tradition) with a special love for children's literature and contributed several works.

His poems, which were sung by noted musicians like C Ashwath, Shivamogga Subbanna, Mysore Ananthaswamy and others, have become popular songs.

He had also translated the famous 50 sonnets of William Shakespeare (Suneeta), 50 poems of Irish poet William Butler Yeats (Chinnada Hakki) and several other prominent English writers' literary work to Kannada.

An expert in Kannada, English and Sanskrit literature, Prof NSL  had served as a visiting faculty in several universities in the United States. 

His anthology of poems, including those which are popular as Kannada musical albums such as Nilanjana, Deepika, Bhava Sangama, Baro Vasantha, Madhuri, and Mandara, have been widely talked about.

Recipient of Sahitya Academy awards and many other prominent awards, Prof NSL's works include Mrichhakatika, Espeet Raja, Twelfth Night, Jagannatha Vijaya, Mudra Manjusha Comprehensive History of Kannada Literature, and collection of poems by Santa Shishunala Sharif with comments and criticism.

Prof NSL, who was admitted to a private hospital for age-related ailments a few days ago, breathed his last on Saturday morning. His cremation will be done at the Banashankari crematorium on Saturday afternoon.