Types of Poetry

As a whole, through the ages, India has contributed to world literature rich and diverse forms of creative writing that includes prose and poetry. In fact there is such diversity in the types of poetry in this country, that it far outnumbers the types created anywhere else in the world. This is primarily because of the diversity that makes up this country.

So, apart from the Indian poetry written in English, keeping to the rules laid in terms of writing sonnets, ballads and other forms of poetry; there are myriads of others. Indian poetry is generally classified in accordance to the language in which it is written, or the region from which it hails.

However apart from the distinction based on the language and region of origination, Indian poetry is generally classified into the following types:

-Devotional: This is one of the oldest types of Indian poetry. In fact, all religious scriptures have been written in the poetic form, as it was felt that people would comprehend the texts better, through the entertaining poetic language.

-Epic: India has produced two of the longest epic poems to have ever been created in the world of poetry – The ‘Mahabharata’ and the ‘Ramayana’. Both these texts have been recognized all over the world, with it being translated into a number of other languages.

-Couplets: A number of poets used a basic format of writing poetry in the form of couplets, i.e., the entire poem consisting of a number of couplets, called ‘doha’.

-Ghazal: This form of poetry is generally written in the Urdu language and put to music. The uniqueness of this type of Indian poetry is that the poet expresses his thought in poetic format about something he is passionate about – generally about the woman he loves, his love for his nation, etc.

-Bhajan: This is a form of devotional verse that is set to music. They are poems praising the Hindu Gods in their various forms.

-Folk poetry: This is also known as regional or vernacular poetry that comes from the various parts of country, representing the varied traditions, cultures and customs.

Through the ages a lot of importance was given to the constant and consistent development of the literary forms in India. In fact, literature was a way of entertainment, and every king’s court had a team of poet laureates who have contributed to the wealth of Indian poetry. In fact, even today poetry continues to be a part of the Indian cultures with a large number of poets being published each year, belonging to various age groups.