Viswanatha Satyanarayana, the Poet Laureate of Andhra Pradesh and winner of JnanPith Award, is undoubtedly one of the greatest scholar-poets of Andhra. An octogenerian with continuous and untiring literary activity extending over six decades, Viswanatha Satyanarayana has had the good fortune of living with writers of three generations.
The first generation of elders are his seniors in age at least by 20 years. They include his Gurus also. The second generation consists of contemporaries mostly of his age with a few others. The third generation consists of writers who are juniors to him by 20 to 40 years. These three
generations represent writers of Puranic and Prabandhic style, moderns who wrote in the same style and those of the Bhavakavita school of poetry, and all the rest who tried to improve upon it or revolt against it. All these writers, whether they agree or
disagree with Viswanatha, respect his unquestioned authority.
In scholarship and learning he is on par with the ancient scholar-poets. In tradition he is in line with Nannaya, Tikkana and Srinatha, the great masters of Telugu poetry. The ideal of his poetry is the nearest approximation to the prayer “Lokaah Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu.” I am also add that it does not confine itself only to man but includes all living creatures. It reminds us of the Sanskrit benediction, “Samno astu dwipade sam catushpade.” It can be stated without exaggeration that he tried every literary form and excelled in it in a unique fashion.
by Prof. B Rama Raju