Dandin enumerates the Sargabandha or Mahakavya. Muktaka means single verses; Kulaka is a group of up to five verses; Kosa is unconnected verses by different authors and Sarhghata is similar verses by one author. The use of different languages is admitted and mixtures of these being allowed are also seen in the Mahakavya in Sanskrit, in poems in the Skandhaka metre in Prakrit, in the Asara in Apabhramsa. Dandin also identifies the distinction between a poem that is to be heard and one to be seen.
Before Dandin there had developed the doctrine of schools, Marga, of poetry, and Bana refers to four of them. Dandin declares the existence of two types: the Vidarbha and Gauda, the former the southern, the latter the eastern. One quality is liked even by the Gaudas, fluency of sense.
The poet recognizes several compounds that are made by the mingling of syllables long and short. The actual list of figure is a curious mixture. The doctrines of Dandin found an echo and completion in those of Vamana. In him there is the emergence of a new idea and that is of the soul of poetry. He has a more developed idea of the nature of Kavya. He also seeks to fit all the elements of Dandin into a scheme based on the doctrine of Riti.
The soul of poetry is a style which is a specified arrangement of words. He admits three kinds of Riti, Vaidarbhi, Gaudi, Panchali styles as it was found among the local poets. The Vaidarbhi is considered as a perfect one and has all the qualities.
Vamana's treatment of figures is significant for his reduction of their importance as elements in poetry. The simile lies at the bottom of all figures and to achieve this result has to omit various figures.
In Kavyalamkara Bamaha insists on the figure which is the essential feature of the poetry. He rejects the distinction of two styles. He shows the reduction of qualities to three which is characteristic of later thought. He has no clear marking line between qualities and figures. He insists on the distinction of figures into those of sound and sense. He has divided poetry into five types: the Sarga-bandha, drama, Akhyayika, Katha, and detached verses. He says there is a common element in all poetry.
In Udbhata there are hints of new views which later had some effect. He ignored the styles of Dandin. He introduced a new classification based on sound effects in the shape of the theory of three Vrttis classed as elegant (upanagarika), ordinary (grdmya), and harsh (sarusa). He also adds Dristanta and Kavyalinga, poetical causation, divides simile according to the grammatical form of expression.
Rudra wrote probably in the earlier part of the ninth century, the Kavydamkdra in sixteen chapters of Arya verses. He belongs to the school which without scientific investigation accepted as its duty the enumeration of figures. He divides figures on the base of sound and sense and then subdivides on principles of his own. This result in a repetition of some figures under different heads and his plan of division received no acceptance. He generalizes and extends the manners of Udbhata. The way he deals with Yamakas and developing the idea of Citra shows his indebtedness to Dandin.