"Little is known about the greatest poet in classical Sanskrit literature and one of the greatest in world literature. A most self-effacing writer, he has chosen to reveal little of himself in his work. Kalidasa probably lived and wrote at the close of the first millennium BC, though a date later by some five centuries has been assigned to him by some scholars. It is highly probable too that he lived and wrote in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh - splendid capital of empires, a centre of culture and India's greatest emporium for a thousand years. Kalidasa is a dramatist, a writer of epic and a lyric poet of extraordinary scope. In all, seven of his works have survived though tradition has ascribed to him many a spurious work authored by later writers who assumed his style. The two works best known outside the country are the play Sakuntala and the lyric monody Meghadutam. Kalidasa is a courtly poet, but at the same time he is a very learned poet who wears his learning lightly and with grace. It has been suggested that Kalidasa was a high court official who was sent by the Emperor Chandra Gupta II to other royal courts; and that Meghadutam was written during a long spell of separation from his wife when he was residing at the Vakataka capital of Nandhivardhana, near the Rama's hill of the poem, as adviser to the widowed Queen Prabhavati Gupta, daughter of the emperor, who was ruling the kingdom as regent for her infant son. Kalidasa's work is instinct with Siva's presence. The blend of the erotic and spiritual that characterizes Siva-mythology is reflected in the poet's work. A mystic feeling for the transcendental combines with a sensuous feeling for beauty in woman and nature."--BOOK JACKET.