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Poetry of KingsThe Classical Hindi Literature of Mughal India$
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Allison Busch

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199765928

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765928.001.0001

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The Aesthetic World of Rīti Poetry

The Aesthetic World of Rīti Poetry

2 (p.65) The Aesthetic World of Rīti Poetry
Poetry of Kings

Allison Busch

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the most important genres and themes of rīti literature. Selections of poetry are analyzed to showcase the techniques of Brajbhasha writers from early modern India. Some of rīti literature is deeply embedded in classical traditions of Indian poetics, such as rasa theory, alaṅkāraśāstra, and nāyikabheda. Other components, notably the concern with bhakti, satire and new forms of historical poetry, are closely connected to contemporary cultural and political developments. Rīti writers experimented with the expressive potential of vernacular language, blending Persian, Sanskrit, and local words in highly innovative ways. Absent the grammatical standardization that would later be imposed on Hindi in the colonial period, Brajbhasha was a flexible idiom that could speak to a variety of communities.

Keywords:   Indian poetics, rasa, ala ṅkāraśāstra, nāyikabheda, historical poetry, satire, Brajbhasha, bhakti

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