In the early decades of the 20th century, Malayalam poetry which had been fettered by repetitive neo-classical works, was rejuvenated and liberated by the poet trio of Kumaran Asan,
Ulloor S Parameswara Iyer and Vallathol Narayana Menon. Vallathol, by his intuitive capacity, inhaled the spirit of romanticism which infused new life in Malayalam literature. A classicist by discipline, he started composing poems at the age of thirteen. He translated Rig Veda into Malayalam at the age of 75. His major works include Magdalana Mariam, an exquisite narrative poem based on an episode in the life of Christ as depicted in the gospel according to St. Luke. Also a patron of kathakali, Vallathol founded the Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthy.