This book examines the practice of poetry in the devotional Vaisnava tradition inspired by Sri Krsna Caitanya (1486-1533), through a detailed study of the Sanskrit poetic works of Kavikarnapura, one of the most significant sixteenth-century Caitanya Vaisnava poets and theologians. It places his ideas in the context both of Sanskrit literary theory (by exploring his use of earlier works of Sanskrit criticism) and of Vaisnava theology (by tracing the origins of his theological ideas to earlier Vaisnava teachers, especially his guru Srinatha). Both Kavikarnapura's poetics as well as the style of his poetry is in many ways at odds with those of his time, particularly with respect to the place of phonetic ornamentation and rasa. Like later early modern theorists, Kavikarnapura reaches back to the earliest Sanskrit poeticians whom he attempts to harmonise with the theories current in his time, to develop a new poetics that values both literary ornamentation and the suggestion of emotion through rasa. This book argues that the reasons of and purposes for Kavikarnapura's literary innovations are firmly rooted in his unique Vaisnava theology, and exemplifies this through a careful reading of select passages from the Ananda-vrndavana, his poetic retelling of Krsna's play in Vrndavana.