Sri Aurobindo considered himself to be firstly a poet, but ironically this aspect of his life remains the least known. Of all his poetic creations the most widely read is Savitri, but since that falls in the category of mantric utterance and not mere poetical composition I will leave it out of this discussion. I will only take up the volume Collected Poems and try to understand why it remains relatively unknown, even among his disciples.
Poetry is truly a complete expression of beauty because it combines many different kinds of beauty: the beauty of sounds, of images, of thought, of emotions and of expression. And yet, unfortunately, for most people in India the word “poetry” conjures up only images of their school life. Those images often have in the background the voice of an unkind teacher or the stress of having to struggle with incomprehensible or archaic words. Most people think that one bids goodbye to poetry when one steps out of the student life. This may be why poems don’t usually form a part of our general reading.