Jan 31 2018

Kalidasa – Exhortation of the Dawn

Published by at 8:58 am under Poetry

Exhortation of the Dawn
by Kalidasa

English version by W. S. Merwin & J. Moussaieff Masson

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

— from Sanskrit Love Poetry, Translated by W. S. Merwin / Translated by J. Moussaieff Masson


/ Image by Livin-Lively /

Now that’s the way to approach the day!

But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!


Recommended Books: Kalidasa

Sanskrit Love Poetry Abhijnanasakuntalam of Kalidasa The Recognition of Sakuntala: A Play in Seven Acts Theatre of Memory: The Plays of Kalidasa The Origin of the Young God: Kalidasa’s Kumarasambhava


Kalidasa, Kalidasa poetry, Yoga / Hindu poetry Kalidasa

India (350? – 430?) Timeline
Yoga / Hindu : Shakta (Goddess-oriented)

Kalidasa is one of the most important classical poets and playwrights of ancient India. There is historical disagreement about when exactly Kalidasa lived, but many scholars now place him somewhere around 400CE.

Kalidasa was said to have been raised without much education, but his beauty caught the attention of a royal princess, who married him. Kalidasa was a devotee of the Mother Goddess Kali (his name means Kali’s servant). It is said that, to erase the shame of his ignorance at court, Kalidasa prayed fervently to Kali, and was granted the gift of brilliant wit.

He wrote several plays, exploring the dramas and humor of court life, love, and spiritual aspiration. His works are often compared with the plays of Shakespeare.

Tradition says that Kalidasa was murdered by a courtesan on the island nation of Sri Lanka.

More poetry by Kalidasa

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