Poetry is an art form as old as time itself and it’s a very empowering one at that. The language of poetry - especially in today’s rapidly digitizing world can be beneficial to us on many levels. Basic developmental skills like writing, reading, and understanding are nurtured through poetry. It is the perfect stepping-stone in one’s journey to self-discovery, introspection, and self-realization. This art is as therapeutic for the poet as it is for the reader.
Like every other aspect of India, poetry has a rich and diverse history in the country. Dating back to the Vedic times, poems were written in regional languages which increased their influence over people.
Right from the four Vedas (meaning ‘knowledge’), which are the primary scriptures of the Hindu religion, to Urdu shayaris (poems consisting of at least one couplet or sher) and ghazals (lyrical poems with a recurring rhyme and limited verses) - poetry has shaped the culture of the country. Even the famous Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana were written in poetic verses. The Mahabharata is considered to be the longest poem ever written and comprises over 200,000 individual couplets.
Indian poets have mastered the art of prolific literature and to celebrate World Poetry Day on 21st March, here are some of our favourite poets whose words will live on in our hearts for decades to come:
A popular Indo-Anglian poet, Sarojini Naidu was known for English poetry with an Indian soul. Her melodious lyrics have an innate beauty. Her poetic expression and sensibility revolved around tragedy, romance, and patriotism. Some of her best works can be found in her renowned poetry collections - The Golden Threshold, The Bird of Time, and The Feather of the Dawn. Her proficiency in the field of poetry and literature earned her the title - the Nightingale of India, which was bestowed upon her by Mahatma Gandhi himself. We truly recommend you read In the Bazaars of Hyderabad, which remains one of her most famous poems!