For Thousands Of Years, The Indian Subcontinent Has Proved A Fertile Ground For The World S Most Captivating Erotic Love Poetry, And The Genius Of Its Devotional Writing Harnesses Great Energy And Mystical Insight It Is In Fact Often Hard To Tell Whether The Poets Are Offering Poems Of Spiritual Longing Using The Garment Of Love Poetry Or Writing Erotic Pieces In The Guise Of Devotion Perhaps, In A Land Where Erotic Sculpture Routinely Ornaments Its Many Temples And Gods Are Known For Their Explosive Sexuality, This Question Has Little Meaning To These Remarkable Writers In Their Devotional Traditions, Eroticism And Mysticism Seem InseparableThis Wonderful Collection Spans , Years, And Includes Work Originally Sung Or Recited By India S Well Known Bards Kabir, Mirabai, Lal Ded, Vidyapati, And Tagore There Are Also Poems From The Upanishads, Ancient Sanskrit Poetry, And Punjabi Folk Lyrics The Poets Have Largely Emerged From The Ranks Of The Dispossessed Leather Workers, Refuse Collectors, Maidservants, Women, And Orphans Their Vision Is Of A Democratic Society In Which All Voices Count, Much Like American Gospel And Blues, Shaker Songs, Or The Grand Vision Of Walt Whitman Often They Faced Persecution For Speaking Candidly, Or Daring To Speak Of Spiritual Matters At All The Notes Include Profiles Of These Legendary Lives Several Of These Poets Simply Vanished, Absorbed Into A Deity, Or Disappeared In A Flash Of Purple Lightning A Few Produced Miracles Most Of Them Are Surrounded By Clouds Of MysteryAndrew Schelling Has Drawn On The Work Of Twenty Four Other Translators, Including Ezra Pound, Robert Bly, Ws Merwin, Jane Hirschfield, And Denise Levertov, To Build The Finest Anthology Of India S Erotic And Spiritual Poetry Ever Assembled For The General Reader Bhakti poetry is probably the closest you could come to religion in its purest form pure faith shorn of any system It is subversive and confrontational love taking on hierarchy and power The poems in this anthology cover the length and breadth of India taking in the Tiruppavai and the Veerashaivites from deep South, Lal Ded from Kashmir, Tukaram and others from Maharashtra, Mira, Kabir, Surdas, Jaidev and the other poets in the North, the Bauls from the East All of them sing of longing for a lover, of throwing away convention in the search of union with a personal god, sometimes Siva, sometimes Krishna, sometimes Kali, sometimes a god so local, he combines characteristics of all of them Beautiful and powerful beyond measure Though it must be said, a few are marred by translations that are less than ideal.
Andrew Schelling is a poet, essayist, and translator of the poetry of India He has taught at Naropa University for twenty years and from 1993 96 served as chair of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics founded by Alan Ginsburg and Anne Waldman His publications include Tea Shack Interior and The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry He lives in Boulder, Colorado.
- 160 pages
- Love and the Turning Seasons
- Andrew Schelling
- 08 March 2019 Andrew Schelling