Pampa Adikavi The Kappe Arabhatta records from 700 C.E. contain the first existing poetry in tripadi meter. Adikavi Pampa was the first well-known Kannada poet, writing in an old Kannada form known as Halegannada (figuratively, "Old Kannada"). Even now, his Vikramarjuna Vijaya is regarded as a classic.
Arabic scholars believe that the first poet of the Arabic language was Jabril ibn Jaber, who lived in about 756 CE. But this claim has not been accepted by many linguists and historians of languages, since some aspects of Arabic grammar and syntax are very different from what they were more than 1000 years ago when it is believed that it originated.
The first written record of any Indian language other than Sanskrit is the first part of the Mahabharata called the Bharatiya Purana. It was composed in the southern Indian city of Tanjore (now in Tamil Nadu) around 400–500 CE. This book contains poems written in the Karnatakan dialect of Old Kannada by various authors who have been named after characters found in the work. From these poems, we know that Karnatakan was the common language of writers and speakers in India around 500 CE, long before it became the official language of South India.
So the first poet of the Kannada language could be considered to be Adikavi Pampa more than 1000 years ago!
Acharya Bhanubhakta The Nepali people adore and honor Bhanubhakta Acharya with the title of Aadakavi (The First Poet). While writing Acharya's biography in 1981, Motiram Bhatta first referred to him as "Adikavi." This name has now become common currency among scholars and poets alike.
Bhanubhakta was born in a Newar family in about 790 AD. His real name was Bhima. He was the youngest son of Madan Mohan and Raj Kumari. His father was a government official who served under several kings of Nepal. He received his education from various teachers including a certain Siddha Mani who was known for his knowledge of medicine as well as poetry. When he reached adulthood, Bhanubhakta married Princess Shruti, the daughter of King Jayapala. She was a famous poet herself and is regarded as the mother of modern Nepali literature.
After the death of his wife, Bhanubhakta went on to marry another woman named Ratna whose surname has not been preserved by history. It is believed that she was a royal princess from India. The two houses were rivals in ancient times and it is said that their conflicts brought about their joint marriage to appease them. They had one son named Madan Krishna Chhetri who became king after his father's murder.
Rabindranath Tagore began writing poetry when he was eight years old and released his first significant poetry collection, Bhanusimha Thakurer Padabali, when he was sixteen. Gitanjali, his best-known piece of poetry, was released in 1910. He finished it the following year, at age twenty-seven.
Tagore's wife died the year he completed Gitanjali. He used her death as inspiration for some of the poems in this collection.
Here are some other famous poets and their work dates:
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) - Symphony No. 9
George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) - Man and Superman, Candida, Caesar and Cleopatra, Heartbreak House
Edmund Burke (1729–97) - A Vindication of Natural Society, The Social Contract
John Milton (1608–74) - Paradise Lost
Alexander Pope (1688–1744) - The Iliad, Paradise Lost
Shakespeare (1564–1616) - Hamlet, Othello, Romeo and Juliet
Johan Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) - Faust I
The first written records in Kannada may be found in Ashoka's Brahmagiri edict of circa 250 AD and the Tagarthi inscription of 350 AD. The Nishadi inscription from 400 AD on Chandragiri hill (Shravanabelagola), the Halmidi inscription from the 5th century AD, and the Aihole inscriptions are all significant in Karnataka's history. These writings are in old Kannada that has been preserved through translations into Sanskrit and Hindi.
Karnataka has had a major influence on the development of languages including Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and English. The linguistic diversity in Karnataka has always been a source of pride for the state government which has taken several measures to preserve it. Today, more than 80% of people in Karnataka can read and write in Kannada.
In 2013, then chief minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, announced plans to make Kannada the official language of the state. He also proposed making English the official language of India. Although neither proposal has become law yet, they show an interest in promoting Kannada and other languages over English.
In addition to these official languages, Karnataka also has use of various local languages such as Tulu, Konkani, Arabic, and others.
Karnataka has been known for its literature since the early centuries after the birth of Christ.