Article | Blog | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India


Celebrated Indian Poets

By : Celebrated Indian Poets

March 26, 2022

“Painting is poetry that is rather seen than felt, and poetry is a painting that is felt rather seen”

-Leonardo da Vinci

Poetry is a form of art that lyrically captivates the audience. The power of poetry is such that it can invoke a wide array of feelings, such as love, expression, devotion as well as patriotism. Indian poetry is world-famous for its emotive appeal and has inspired and moved many. 21st March is celebrated as “World Poetry Day”, let us look at a few gemstones in the poetic history of India.

Kalidasa has been widely accredited as the most prolific Sanskrit poet in history. He is often compared to western poets such as Dante, Goethe, Shakespeare, etc. His works – Abhijnanashakuntalam, Meghaduta, Ritusamhara, Malavikagnimitram, and many more have been admired by poets, authors, and literary critics. His works capture the amalgamation of love and nature and paint a literary picture for the readers.

Kabir Das, Poet and Saint

The works of a saint and poet Kabir Das take inspiration from both Hinduism and Islam and his poems’ themes challenge the social injustices associated with caste and religion. His famous works include - Guru Govind Dou Khade, Kal Karey So Aaj Kar, Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala.

Mirza Ghalib

Mirza Ghalib is considered one of the most imaginative poets of his time. The Urdu poet is believed to not only write thoughtful poems but also think poetically. His works speak of a free society where people are not pulled down by norms and customs. His poems spoke on a philosophical level, for example, “My creed is oneness, my belief renunciation of rituals.” His poems are in the form of ghazals and shayaris. His notable shayaris include – “Dil-e-nadan tujhe hua kya hai, aakhir iss darrd ki dava kya hai”, “Rehkte ke tumhin ustad nhin ho Ghalib, kahte hain agle zamane mein koi Mir bhi tha”.

Portrait of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore is often regarded as a cultural genius for his fluency in literature, poetry, dance, music, and later as a painter. In 1913 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. One of his seminal works is Gitanjali and the outlined theme of the poems in this collection was devotional. The creative environment he witnessed at home and the serene environment around him inspired the themes of his writings. While Gitanjali won him the Nobel prize, his other works are just as remarkable. Tagore’s other notable poems include – Chhito Jetha Bhayshunyo, Dui Bigha Jomi, Jete Nahi Debo, etc.

The Nightingale of India - Sarojini Naidu

Popularly known as the ‘Nightingale of India’, Sarojini Naidu has contributed immensely to India’s struggle for independence, social reforms for women, and the world of literature. Her poems and writings are widely acclaimed not only in India but also internationally. Her poems have a rare temperament and speak about the expressions of a woman from the East. The themes captured in her poems mainly include love, nature, and the freedom movement. The Snake Charmer, The Lotus, and Alabaster are a few of the many poems written by Bharat Kokila.

Rashtrakavi - Ramdhari Singh Dinkar

Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was a nationalist and a litterateur, and his writings were a testament to his love for the country. He was awarded the title of ‘Rashtrakavi’ for his poems that carried the essence of patriotism. His first published work, Vijay Sandesh, was printed in 1928. His other notable poems are Pranbhang, Renuka, Hunkar, and Rasavanti. Through his writings, both poems and prose, he invoked a feeling of nationalism in the hearts of the readers.