Born in a village near Tenali near Guntur district,Sivareddi earned an M.A. in English literature and worked as English lecturer in Hyderabad. He recently retired as the principal of V.V. College. Published several collections of poems among which "moehanaa! oh moehanaa!" won the annual award of Central Sahitya Academy. Widely read in world literature, Sivareddi wrote poetry on a variety of themes and topics. Sivareddi's word images bring out the rich diversity of common occurrences of day to day life, painted in dazzling colors with amazing clarity. One critic describes him as a poet with incorrigble optimism in "man" while another critic bestowed the title "perpetual kid". His weekly informal poetry circle at Dvaraka Hotel in Hyderabad is a usual meeting place for many senior and budding Telugu literateurs. It is a wonderful experience to listen to Sivareddi recite his poems - he weaves a multi-textured web with his nuanced recitation, greatly enhancing the experience of the poem.
oohalloemci oohalloeki uyyaala
gaalloemci gaalloeki uyyaala
aa diSa civaranumci ee diSa civari daakaa uyyaala
vellikilaa paDDa arasunnaalaa
ee pakkanumci aapakkaki doosukeLLaeTappuDu
okkasaari poDugaaTi jaDa bhoomini taakutoo veLipoetumdi
parikiNee kucciLLu naelanu muddiDukumToo veDataayi
ekkaDoe bhoomi garbhamloe samudram gumDelloe
oka vaNuku modalavutumdi
galagalaa pomgae navvuloemci kanneeLLu
vicitram! ettaina ceTla vaeLLu bhoomiloe balamgaa
uyaala vaeLLu ceTTukommanu cuTTukoni gaTTigaa
kotta parikiNee Tramku peTTe vaasanaloo
kaaviDi peTTe bamgaaru nagala maagina ramgoo -
kottagaa vaesukunna paiTapaamu jarruna jaaraTaaloo
Em cEyAloe toecani kamgaaroo piccicoopuloo
dayakooDukumTunna kaLLa paryaavaraNaalu
eTu coosinaa poolae poolu; poola jaatarla j~naapakaala ravaLi
akkaDa uyyaala meeda aakaaSamloe taelutoo maa akka umdi
naa bulli priyuraalu umdi
naa kaLLu uyyaalatoe paaTu aToo iToo
iToo aToo oogee oogee toogee toogee toolipoetunnaayi
toonigallaa vaalutunnaayi kanipimcae jeevana maidaanamamtaa
uyyaala koyyaki kaTTina taaDu paTTukoni
varusaina vaaDevaDoe ooputumTaaDu
bahuSaa - uyyaalatoe paaTu ippaTikee oogutumTaaDu
appuDappuDu aracaetulakaesi coosukoni
muripemgaa musimusigaa navvukumTumTaaDu ippaTikee
dikpaalakulamtaa vacci cuTToo numcumTaaru
verri mukhaalaesukuni noeTloe vaeLLu peTTukuni coostumTaaru
'aemamdam, aemamdam, aemaanamdam, aemaanamdam ' ani.
ippaTikee oohala uyyaala nekki oogutumTaanu
ee oorunumci aa ooriki aa yaeTinumci ee yaeTikee
ee aDavinumci aa aDavikee ee palle numci aa pallekee
ippaTikee gumDelloe uyyaala kadulutoonae umdi.
yaabhai yaeLLappuDu kooDaa
verrigaa cinna pillaaNNi caesi tipputoonae umdi
unnannaaLLoo oogutoonae umTaanu
naa padyaala vaeLLa civarlu paTTukoni
niramtaram oogutumTaaru meeru haayigaa
kimdanumci paikee, painumci kimdakee;
bhoomyaakaaSaala madhyanunna samastaanni coostoo
anuSeelistoo anubhavistoo aakaaraannistoo
oopiri aagavaccunaemoe kaanee
uyyaala aagakooDadu, gumDelloeni uyyaala aagakooDadu.
A rendition in English
From memory to memory
From memory to memory, a swing
Riding the breezy waves, a swing
From that corner of the world to this, a swing
Like a half-paranthesis fallen on its back.
Speeding from side to side,
A long plait brushes against the earth
Hem folds of a long skirt blow a hurried kiss to the floor
Somewhere in the earth's womb, in the heart of the ocean
A gentle shiver begins.
The whole world swings.
Springing from the bubbly fountain of laughter, tears -
A wonder! Tall trees' roots take strong hold in the earth
The swing ropes, in turn, hold tightly onto the tree branches.
Smells of the storage chest on the new skirt
Ripe color of gold ornaments from the old jewel box
Snake of a palloo , newly acquired, slips suddenly
Not knowing what to do, anxious, startled looks
Eye pools brimming over with compassion.
Flowers everywhere; sonorous memories of a floral parade
Reaching to the sky on the swing, there is my sister,
So is my little love.
My eyes flit back and forth, to and fro,
Swing, swing and stumble
Like dragon flies, they flit over the vast priarie of life.
Some lucky fellow, holding on to the ropes, pushes the swing
Perhaps even now, he is moving with the swing
Glancing at his palms now and then,
Perhaps he chuckles to himself tenderly even now.
The celestial guardians of the world gather around
All the gods in heaven
Stare with dumb faces, sucking their thumbs,
Marvelling, "what beauty! what bliss!!"
I swing on that swing even now.
From this place to that, from that stream to this,
From these woods to those, from that hamlet to this
Even now, the swing continues to stir in my heart.
Even at the age of fifty,
Crazily turns me into a kid, moves me.
I'll continue .. as long as I live .. to swing
I'll continue to push.
After I'm gone,
holding onto the ends of my poems
you all will swing always, happily,
from earth to heaven and back to earth,
witnessing the all between earth and heaven,
examining it, experiencing it, giving it shape.
The breath may cease, but
The moving swing must not; swing in the heart must not stop.
A personal note: I found most difficulty in translating this poem because of the strongly native Telugu references. I hope the translation gives you a flavor of the original. The "swing festival" used to be an important event for young girls in Telugu villages until recently. It usually takes place around this time of the year.