A. Ayyappan


A. Ayyappan (27 October 1949 - 21 October 2010) was a Malayalam poet in the modernist period. He is considered as the icon of anarchism in Malayalam poetry.

Early life

Born in a wealthy Viswakarma (goldsmith) family, in Nemom, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, he became a non-conformist member of reading Malayali families. He had a very tragic childhood. His father, Arumukham, died when he was only one year old, perhaps due to poison. Ayyappan, who had said that he was not sure whether his father's death was a suicide or a murder, wrote in a poem that his mother was pregnant at the time of the suicide. He lost his mother, Muthammal, when he was 15. Ayyappan was supported by his sister Subbalakshmi and his brother-in-law V. Krishnan.

Literary career

Ayyappan started writing poetry when he was a student. He became involved in the Communist Party and joined the staff of Janayugom, the party newspaper. Ayyappan is well known for his heart touching poems and his bohemian lifestyle. Ayyappan, who got intoxicated by the creativity of turning the pain of the homeless into poetry, slept on shop verandas and wrote poems - which were untainted depiction of life. In his own words, destitution and insecurity transformed him into a poet. He can be considered the icon of anarchism in Kerala. He was a close friend of the late filmmaker John Abraham. Ayyappan was also famous as a great lover of sunlight ('veyil' in Malayalam language) and a passionate adherent of Communism. For English translation of his poems see 'Selected Poems of A. Ayyappan from God's Own Country' published by Authors Press - translation by P.K.N.Panicker ISBN 978-81-7273-840-2. Also available in electronic format through Kindlebooks.

"Though a bohemian in the tradition of P. Kunhiraman Nair, Malayalam's celebrated poet of yesteryear, Ayyappan was amazingly rigorous in his poetic expression. Often, the street was his home, for homes seldom welcomed the poet in. But few writers in these times can claim to have had so vast a circle of loving and adoring friends, a large majority of them young men and women."

Important works

  • Mulamthandinu Rajayakshmaavu
  • Yangjam
  • Ente shavapetti chumakunnavarodu
  • Veyil Thinnunna Pakshi
  • Greeshmame sakhee
  • Karuppu
  • Budhanum Aattinkuttiyum
  • Chitharogaaspatryile Dinangal
  • Malamillaatha Pambu
  • Greeshmavum Kanneerum
  • Tettiyodunna SeconduSoochi
  • Kalkkariyude Niramullavar (Collection of Poems)
  • Sumangali on YouTube