This is KUNDUR NARAYANA MENON (1861-1936) my great, great grandfather through my maternal line. He was an eminent Keralan poet and yogi and is still studied in Indian classrooms today. He was also mentor to India's highly honoured and revolutionary Poet Laureate Vallathol Narayana Menon (1878 - 1958).
I recently discovered that he was part of a progressive group of writers in India that turned away from using the exclusive language of Sanskrit in favour of writing poetry in his regional language of Malayalam to better express his lived experience of everyday, ordinary life.
I am currently having his poems translated into English and hope to share some of his work soon.
"Kundur Narayana Menon is one among the finest poets of Malayalam. His concept of pachamalayalakavita (meaning virgin Malayalam without admixture of any other language) was honoured by great Malayalam critics. The pure Malayalam poem was Palattukoman."
Narendra Variar Kadathanat