Kalidasa is the major poet and dramatist of classical Sanskrit literature - a many-sided talent of extraordinary scope and exquisite language. His great poem, Meghadutam (The Cloud Messenger), tells of a divine being, punished for failing in his sacred duties with a years' separation from his beloved. A work of subtle emotional nuances, it is a haunting depiction of longing and separation. The play Sakuntala describes the troubled love between a Lady of Nature and King Duhsanta. This beautiful blend of romance and comedy, transports its audience into an enchanted world in which mortals mingle with gods. And Kalidasa's poem Rtusamharam (The Gathering of the Seasons) is an exuberant observation of the sheer variety of the natural world, as it teems with the energies of the great god Siva.
Kalidasa, perhaps the most extraordinary of India's classical poets, composed seven major works: three plays, two epic poems and two lyric poems. According to legend, he lived at the end of the fourth century, and was one the 'nine jewels' in the court of the Gupta king Chandragupta II. Although very little is known about his life, Kalidasa's popularity has endured for centuries.
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