Indian Love Poems

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Meena Alexander
Alfred A. Knopf, 2005 - Poetry - 250 pages
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According to the Kama Sutra, the erotic handbook written two thousand years ago, when the wheel of ecstasy is in motion “there is no textbook at all, and no order.” Indian Love Poems is a unique gathering of poems from across more than two and a half millennia that attempts to catalog the disordered ecstasies of love, ranging from the Kama Sutra and earlier works up to present-day India and the poets of the Indian diaspora.

Indian Love Poems features works from the classical languages of Sanskrit and Tamil and such later languages as Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam, Bengali, and English. Emerging from many Indian cultures and eras, the poems collected here reflect a variety of erotic and spiritual passions, and celebrate the powerful role of desire–both male and female–in the intricate dance of existence. From the twelfth-century female poet Mahadeviyakka to the twentieth-century Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore to such contemporary poets as Kamala Das and Vikram Seth, this glittering tapestry of lyric voices beautifully and sensually evokes the transfiguring force of love.
 

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Contents

CEMPULAPPEYANIRAR From Kuruntomi
11
SUJATA BHATT Sherdi
12
MILAIPPERUNKANTAN From Kurzmtolrai
23
SRINATIIA Love Letter
30
From Amarusataka
80
CllA DllS I have hardened my mind
90
IDY v Love in the Countryside
96
neDay
103
MUTTA So free am I so gloriously free
117
DOM IUORAES Container
119
O U SlL Doubt l 1
125
UMASHANKAR JOSH Before I met you
132
HIRA BANSODE Woman
138
NANDURI SUBBARAO Blow Out the Lamp ll
146
178
230
Copyright

MAHADEVIYAKKA Like a silkworm weaving lll
111

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About the author (2005)

Meena Alexander is an award-winning poet and the author of the memoir Fault Lines. She is a professor of English at Hunter College and lives in New York City.

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