Maithilisharan Gupt (मैथिलीशरण गुप्त) was one of the most important modern Hindi poets. He is considered among the pioneers of Khari Boli (plain dialect) poetry and wrote in Khari Boli at a time when most Hindi poets favoured the use of Brajbhasha.
Born Chirgaon, Jhansi in a Gahoi family. His father was Seth Ramcharan Gupta and mother's name was Smt. Kashibai. He disliked school as a child, so his father arranged for his education at their home. As a child, Gupt studied Sanskrit, English and Bengali. Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi was his mentor. He was married on 1895.
Gupt entered the world of Hindi literature by writing poems in various magazines, including Saraswati. In 1910, his first major work, Rang mein Bhang was published from Indian Press. With Bharat Bharati, his nationalist poems became popular among Indians, who were struggling for independence. Most of his poems revolve around plots from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Buddhist stories and the lives of famous religious leaders. His famous work Saket revolves around Urmila, wife of Lakshmana, from Ramayana, while another of his works Yashodhara revolves around Yashodhara, the wife of Gautama Buddha.
An admirer of Hindi literature can easily estimate the depth of immortal poet by his last lines..
प्राण न पागल हो तुम यों, पृथ्वी पर वह प्रेम कहाँ..
मोहमयी छलना भर है, भटको न अहो अब और यहाँ..
ऊपर को निरखो अब तो बस मिलता है चिरमेल वहाँ..
Gupt also translated major works from other language into Hindi. These include Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám and Swapnavaasavdatta (a Sanskrit play).
After India became independent in 1947, he was also made an honorary member of the Rajya Sabha, where he used poetry to put his opinions before the other members. He remained a member of the Rajya Sabha till his death in 1965.