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FIRSTS
and
Other
Poetry
Records
From
India


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FIRST COLLECTION OF ENGLISH POEMS
Poems (1827), an anthology by Henry Derozio in English was followed by
The Fakeer of Jungheera (1828), also by Derozio.
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LONGEST SINGLE VOLUME NOVEL IN ENGLISH
Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, a novel in poetry, published in 1993 exceeds 5,00,000 words and
comprises 1,349 pages.
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LONGEST GHAZAL
The 262-couplet Maha Ghazal (in Gurumukhi script) by S. Balvinder Singh
of Ludhiana is the longest poem written in the ghazal format.
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Indian women, Poetry, and the records!

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FIRST WOMAN FELLOW OF SAHITYA ACADEMY

Mahadevi Verma was made a fellow of the Sahitya Academy in 1979.
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FIRST VEDIC POET
Vac is the first among brahmavadinis whose writings were incorporated in the
Vedas and Puranas 3,000 years ago.
In her Hymn to Speech, Vac takes on its goddess role in the
Rig Veda, the earliest of the Vedas. It is considered one of the most sacred hymns.
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EARLIEST POETS
Ten collections and 8 long poems of the Sangam era (ca. 100 BC-250 AD)
comprise the oldest body of secular poetry extant in India.
A total of 154 out of the 2,381 poems carry women's signatures. They may be divided
broadly as akam (inner/romantic) and puram (outer/material). The important
poets are Avvaiyar, Velli Vitiyar, Kavar Pentu, Venmanipputi,
Kakkaipatiniya, and Okkur who are widely read.
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EARLIEST ANTHOLOGY
The Therigatha (Songs of the Nuns) written in the sixth century BC by the
Buddist theris or senior nuns are compiled in 522 stanzas
praising Buddha's teachings.
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FIRST TO RECEIVE JNANPITH AWARD
AshaPurna Devi (b. Jan 08, 1909 -- d. July 13 1995) was the first woman in India
to receive the Jnanpith Award in 1976. Her first poem, Bairer Dak (Call of Outside), was
published when she was 14 years old in Shishusathi magazine for children.
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FIRST INDIAN MAGAZINE FOR WOMEN
The Indian Ladies' Magazine was edited by Kamala Ratnam Satthianadhan, the first woman graduate and MA in
south India between 1901-1938. Sarojini Naidu's poems were also first published
in this magazine.
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FIRST FEMINIST PUBLISHING HOUSE
'Kali For Women' is Asia's first feminist publishing house, started in 1984 by Urvashi Butalia and
Ritu Menon in New Delhi. It is a non-profitable trust, publishing
a wide variety of books, including poetry by women.
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POPULAR ANCIENT SONGS
Janabai, Maharashtra's 14th century poet's abhangas continue to be popular,
being chanted during kirtans and bhajans.
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EARLIEST BHAKTI POETS
Andal, who lived in the ninth century AD wrote devotional songs to Krishna.
She was the only woman poet among the 12 Tamil saint-poetscalled Alwars.
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Be proud of India!


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