The period in modern Hindi literature known as Chayavad marked the first blossoming of poetry in the language which, for its originality, depth and technical resourcefulness, still remains unsurpassed. This anthology provides a sampling of the works of four major poets of this revival-Jayshankar Prasad, Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, Sumitranandan Pant, and Mahadevi Varma.
Like the Romantic age in the West, Chayavad was marked with elements of symbolism and mysticism. Upanishadic teachings, the English Romantic poets, the French symbolists, Rabindranath Tagore, Sanskrit aesthetics-all influenced this genre. In Chayavad poetry, modern Hindi attained an incontestable brilliance and elegance of expression.
Chayavad poets are known outside India by the few available translations of their elegant, yet often baffling, short lyrics. This unique volume brings together translations of a few significant long poems-Prasad's Amsu (a poem of philosophical import) and Nirala's Ram ki Shakti-Puja (a short epic on the theme of war). Also included is a selection of the more typical short lyrics by all four poets, many of them previously untranslated.