Mahadevi Verma, a famous Hindi poet and writer, was born in 1907, in Farrukhabad in a family of lawyers. She was the eldest among her four siblings. She received her education at Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh
and was married to Dr. Swarup Narayan Verma at an early age. After marriage she continued to live with her family and receive education. She went to Allahabad University for higher education and obtained her Master's degree in Sanskrit from Allahabad University. Apart from being a renowned poet she was also a good prose writer and a painter. She sketched for her works such as Deepshikha and Yatra.
Mahadevi Verma is regarded as one of the four pillars of Chhayavadi School of Hindi literature. Her most famous works include Atita Ke Chalchitra (The Moving Frames of the Past) and Smriti Ki Rekhayen (The Lines of Memory). Her famous poetic publications are Nihar, Rashmi, Neerja and Sandhya Geet. Her work shrinkhala ki kadiyan reflects the plight of Indian women. She had another famous work to her credit; Sahityakar Ki Astha..
Mahadevi Verma was greatly influenced by Buddhism and she was deeply aesthetic. Her poetry is marked by a constant pain, the pain of separation from her beloved, the supreme being. Due to this she is also sometimes compared to Mirabai. There is an element of mysticism in her poetry. Her poems are addressed to her distant lover, while her lover remains quite and never speaks. With her work Deepshikha, which contains 51 poems, she ventured into new field of Hindi literature- Rahasyavaad. She also served as an editor of the famous Hindi monthly Chand.
Mahadevi Verma was also a social reformer. She strongly advocated the cause of women in India. Many of her prose works reflect her views on the plight of Indian women. She was appointed the first principal of Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth, started to impart education to girls through Hindi medium. Later she became the chancellor of the institute. Her collection of poetry, Yama received Gyanpeeth, one of the highest literary awards of India. Mahadevi Verma was awarded the Seksaria Prize for her poetic works. In 1956, Indian government honored her with Padma Bhushan. She was the first woman to be made a Fellow of the Sahitya Akademi. She died on 11th September 1987.
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