Indian Love Poems
By Meena Alexander (Editor)
(Everyman's Library, Hardcover, 9781400042258, 256pp.)
Publication Date: January 25, 2005
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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.
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.