Govinda Krishna Chettur


New College Oxford, OX1 3BN
United Kingdom
51° 45' 15.5232" N, 1° 15' 5.4864" W
Date of birth: 
24 Apr 1898
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Date of death: 
03 Mar 1936
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Oct 1918
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1918-21 (Oxford)


G. K. Chettur, arrived to study at New College, Oxford, in October 1918, just before the Armistice. He had been educated at Madras Christian College and his father, P. K. Krishna Menon, had been a Government Servant. Funding for his studies at Oxford were supplied by Sir C. Senkaramhair from Simla. He graduated with a Third in history in 1921.

Chettur was a member of the Lotus Club and the Oxford Majlis (he was President in Hilary Term, 1920) and was able to meet Rabindranath Tagore and W. B. Yeats through these societies. Yeats spoke to the Majlis in November 1919 on the poet Manmohan Ghose and Chettur obtained a photo of Yeats in his New College room. Chettur published his first anthology of poems in 1922 with a dedication to Yeats, and was inspired by Yeats to publish his memories of his students days. During his time in Oxford, Chettur met a number of other poets based in Oxford and Sarojini Naidu, who made frequent visits to Oxford. His publications were reviewed in the British Press.

During his student days, Chettur saw the play 'Tilly of Bloomsbury' by Ian Hay, where an Indian student was depicted as a humiliating figure. Chettur was so angry and offended by this portrayal that he wrote a letter to the Vice-Chancellor in complaint. Chettur was principal of the Government College in Mangalore from 1922 and continued to write and publish poetry in India.


Edmund Blunden, Winifred Casson, Eric Dickinson, Robert Graves, Louis Golding, Vachell Lindsay, John Masefield, Sarojini Naidu, Sankaran Nair (uncle), Robert Nichols, W. F. Stead, Arthur Symons, Rabindranath Tagore, William Butler Yeats.

Involved in events: 

Attended Indian Students' Conference, 1918.

Published works: 

Sounds and Images (London: Erskine Macdonald, 1922)

Gumataraya (Mangalore: Basel Mission Bookshop, 1932)

The Temple Tank and Other Poems (Mangalore: Basel Mission Bookshop, 1932)

The Triumph of Love (Mangalore: Basel Mission Bookshop, 1932)

The Last Enchantment: Recollections of Oxford (Mangalore: Basel Mission Bookshop, 1934) [Majority first contributed to the Madras Mail, 1921-2]

The Shadow of God: A Sonnet-Sequence (London: Longmans, Green and Co., Ltd, 1935)


Aberdeen Mail

Christian World

Daily Express

London Mercury

London Times Literary Supplement

Modern Review

Secondary works: 

Selected Poetry of Govinda Krishna Chettur: