10 Greatest Poets of India of All Time

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We all love the beauty of our Indian poetry. The way it describes our feelings and moments of life makes us fall in love with it. Romance, sadness, happiness and all our other emotions are beautifully described in the pure form of poetry.

The history of poetry in the Indian subcontinent runs millennia deep. From Vedic Sanskrit poems crafted over 3,000 years ago to Urdu poetry that flourished particularly under the Mughal Empire, the sheer variety of poetry traditions that have engulfed India can be quite overwhelming.

Here is the list of those who gave words to our feelings, a list of Indian poets –

Kalidasa

Kalidas, Sanskrit poet, and dramatist, probably the greatest Indian writer of any epoch. The six works identified as genuine are the dramas Abhijnanashakuntala (“The Recognition of Shakuntala”), Vikramorvashi (“Urvashi Won by Valour”), and Malavikagnimitra (“Malavika and Agnimitra”); the epic poems Raghuvamsha (“Dynasty of Raghu”) and Kumarasambhava (“Birth of the War God”); and the lyric “Meghaduta” (“Cloud Messenger”).

Rabindranath Tagore

Our Bengal’s pride, Rabindranath Tagore had written many incredible pieces of poetry. He had largely written poetry in Bengali. He also composed novels, dramas, short stories, and even paintings. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, largely for Gitanjali, a collection of his poetry that is today among his best-known work.

Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib

Ghalib has touched the reader’s heart with his poetry. He has written his beautiful and sentimental pieces in Urdu. He started composing poetry at the age of 11. Ghalib’s best poems were written in three forms: ghazal (lyric), masnavi (moralistic or mystical parable), and qaṣidah (panegyric). His critics accused him of writing in an obscure and ornamental style of Persian incomprehensible to the masses. His verses affirm God’s omnipotence while questioning the misery of the phenomenal world.

Amir Khusrow

Amīr Khosrow wrote numerous works, among them five divans, which were compiled at different periods in his life, and his Khamsah (“Pentalogy”), a group of five long idylls in emulation of the Khamseh of the celebrated Persian poet Neẓāmī (c. 1141–1209). Amīr Khosrow’s pentalogy deals with general themes famous in Islāmic literature. In addition to his poetry, he is known for a number of prose works, including the Khazāʾin al-futūḥ (“The Treasure-Chambers of the Victories”), also known by the title Tārīkh-e ʿAlāʾī (“The History of Ala”). Two historical poems for which he is well known are Nuh Sipihr (“The Nine Heavens”) and the Tughluq-nāmah (“The Book of Tughluq”).

Mir Taqi Mir

An Urdu poet whose work explores themes of love and spirituality and is rich with pathos drawn from his own personal tragedies including untimely deaths of family members – first his father, then his daughter, son, and wife.

 

All of us have read the work poems of Kabir in our Hindi syllabus. He has written poems in Hindi borrowing from a range of dialects and wrote on various aspects of life and faith. Kabir’s poetic personality has been variously defined by the religious traditions that revere him, and the same can be said for his hagiography.

Sarojini Naidu

She political activist, feminist, poet, and the first Indian woman to be president of the Indian National Congress and to be appointed an Indian state governor. Her poetry has been highly influential and set the tone for modern Indian literary traditions. Her work explores themes such as love, death, patriotism, among others.

Mirabai

Devoted to Lord Krishna, Mirabai has written poems exploring topics of divinity, mysticism, and love. Her love and devotion to Lord Krishna was the base of her writings. Although, there are no surviving original manuscripts of her work.

Sri Aurobindo Ghosh

He is one of the famous poets of our country. His poetry revolved primarily on themes of spirituality and mortality, as well as involved commentaries on and translations of Vedas, Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.

Kamala Surayya

Born in 1934 in Kerala, Kamala Surayya is known for her one-time penned down a poem, “Madhavikutty”. In her famous piece of writing, she talked about love, betrayal, female sexuality and politics.

Das was part of a generation of Indian writers whose work centered on personal rather than colonial experiences, and her short stories, poetry, memoirs, and essays brought her respect and notoriety in equal measures.

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