Auction of Poetry Books/ Devkota Anniversary/Japanese Culture Award for Poet – Poetry News Roundup October 30th

Today on My Poetic Side we bring you an article about a set of poetry books that were recently auctioned, the 111th birth anniversary of the poet Mahakavi Devkota and the poet who is being awarded a top Japanese cultural award.

Classical Poetry Books Annotated by Herman Melville Sell at Auction

The Swann Auction Galleries in New York has recently sold a set comprising two 160-year-old books of classical poetry. One of the volumes was signed by the poet Herman Melville and both books were annotated throughout by the poet.

The annotations in both books feature the poet’s signature loopy handwriting as well as symbols on the paragraphs and a number of other markings. The books in question are both classical poetry; Juvenal and Persius’ The Satires and The Tragedies Vol. III by Euripides. Published by Harper and Brothers (now Harper Collins) the books were originally purchased in 2859 and were part of a set of 37 volumes of poetry.

The auctioneers had put an estimate on the books of between $40,000 to $60,000. However, they sold for a very healthy $106,250. This is the first time that these books have ever appeared at auction. They were previously purchased through a private sale by the seller 30 years ago.

111th Birth Anniversary of Mahakavi Devkota Observed

The 111th birth anniversary of Laxmi Prasad Devkota the legendary poet laureate of Nepal has just been celebrated.

A number of events were held both in Nepal and other countries to mark the anniversary of his birth. Devkota is perhaps best known for his epic work Shakuntal, which he completed in just three months, his long narrative poem Kunjini which was written in a day and Sulochana which took him 10 days to write. As well as being a poet he also wrote essays and was responsible for a number of books in all genres of literature. In addition to his important contributions to Nepalese literature, his work was also a combination of western and eastern philosophy.

He translated a number of Nepali books into a number of other languages and during his stint as the Education Minister in Nepal was responsible for ensuring that the Nepali language was a compulsory part of the education curriculum in the country.

Japanese Top Cultural Awards 2019

Yesterday the Japanese government announced the recipients of the country’s top cultural awards

The winners of the Order of Culture, which is the highest award given, included the recently joint named 2019 winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry Akira Yoshino who was responsible for the development of the lithium-ion battery. The other winners included a political scientist, a photographer, an immunologist and an actor.

The recipients of the Persons of Cultural Merit awards were also announced and included Akiko Baba the 91-year-old Japanese classical “tanka” poet who is being honoured for his services to the classical poetry movement in the country.

These awards will be presented at a different ceremony which will not take place until 5th November at a hotel in Tokyo.

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