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ESSAYS

the recognized vocabulary of literature. Poetical, a specialized branch of the literary language, tends for special reasons of rhythm, ryhme, assonance, solemnity, dignity, pathos, sonority and the like to be more conservative, archaic and formal than the language of prose, but even the poetry of an age reflects its tendencies of educated speech and thought. The highest poetry has its roots in the songs of the people; reflection seen in the art of posts is but individual intensification of nature; the popular ballad develops into the literary; the minstrel’s tale grows into the heroic poem, into the epic.

Our Telugu literature, it seems, suffers from an over—rigid theory concerning the relative position of speech and common writing with the art of poets. Modern prose writers assume that the special archaic prose found in ancient Kavyas has set the model for all time to prose of all sorts; most versifiers hold that the rules of later Sanskrit rhetoricians concerning the topics, construction and metre of poety are binding on modern Telugu posts. Is nothing then to be learnt from the native singers of the people? from the makers of children’s songs or of wayside ballads? Is it forbidden those who would sing in this modern world to go back to nature as did the English poets of the Romantic age? Are they for ever to be circumscribed within the narrow bounds set, as they thought, to the first makers of Telugu poetry? Art, as society, grows