Here are the Great Indian Poets You've Probably Never Heard of

  • 12 Aug 2019

Poetry might be trending in contemporary times thanks to speakeasy bars, Instagram and Rupi Kaur, but what many don't know is that poems have been told and retold for centuries in India.

The great Hindu epics, Valmiki's Ramayana and the Mahabharata by Vyasa were great poems of their own.

But there are others too who have left an indelible mark in Indian and world history over the course of 3,000 years.

Some of them you've probably never heard of. Let's start with a familiar face first.

Rabindranath Tagore

Perhaps you've probably come across Rabindranath. This is because he is among the five Indian Nobel Prize winners. Rabindranath received the prestigious award for literature in 1913. While he was relatively unknown, his fame came when Irish poet W.B. Yeats introduced him to the west. He is also known to be the creator of India's national anthem.

Sarojini Naidu

India has produced remarkable female poets too. Known for her passionate poems infused with Indian culture, Sarojini's works were remarkable for preserving the era she lived in. Her poems often dealt with pure love, beauty, comfort and slice of life. In her homeland, she's often referred to as "the Nightingale of India."

Kamala Das

Kamala is India's most popular English-language poet. Her works have appeared as syllabus in literary courses at various international higher education institutes. Just like Sarojini, Kamala's poems explore purity in love with many of her poems often appear borderline confessional.


Revered as a saint in certain parts of India, Kabir's poem dived deep into the realms of philosophy and was critical of organised religions such as Islam and Hinduism. Kabir wrote his poems in Hindi and was greatly inspired by life and human faith.

A.K. Mehrortra

Known for his conversational tone, crystal clear imagery, and hint of surrealism, Mehrortra is considered India's well-known poet in current times. His poems are unique and his best works to date are "Middle Earth" and "Nine Enclosures".

There are many others too, but these poets have stood out for us due to their clever word play and the impact they've had on people.

Source: Owlcation, Culture Trip
Photo Credit: eCRATER UK, Cherishsantosh/WikiCommons, Feminism in India, The Week, Wikipedia, The Hindu

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