(Last Updated on : 09/05/2011)
Harisena was the court poet of Emperor Samudragupta
. He wrote a famous poem praising the bravery of Samudragupta that is inscribed on the Allahabad
Pillar. Harisena's compositions proved that developed Kavya poetry existed in the Gupta period. Harisena was a poet of distinct capability despite being a foreign minister and general of the king. His poems bear the title Kavya though it constitutes prose and verse. The structure of the poems is similar to the description of kings adopted in the prose romances of Subandhu and Bana.
Style of Harisena
In a single sentence everything is crowded and it consists of relative clauses, adjectives and appositions piled upon one another. The whole poem is basically in one sentence that also includes first eight stanzas of poetry. Thereafter there is a long prose sentence that is concluded finally with a stanza. The thought and the form are also complex as the poet's skill has been equal to the effort to connect the pillar with the fame of the emperor. This is personified as feminine and is considered as having embraced the whole world. The metre is elaborated that has seven verses. The four metres used are Sragdhara, qardulaviku dita, Mandakranta and Prithvi. The style is that of the Vidarbha or southern manner. The verse shuns long compounds while the prose uses them in abundance. Alliteration is used but with restraint; metaphors are used of the figures of sense and rare similes.
Harisena's skill is proved by the use of ingenious thought and the meticulous way in which he handles the long compounds. These are relieved by the inter position of short words so that the speaker gets time to recover breath and the hearer can interpret the sense. The words are arranged in a crafty manner in the compounds in order to create maximum metrical effect. One of his best poetic examples is that of the description of the scene when before his rivals and the court old Chandragupta Maurya
has designated Samudragupta as his successor.
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