An Ornament for Jewels: Love Poems for the Lord of Gods by Vedantadesika

By Vedantadesika

During this spouse quantity to ]i]Singing the physique of God[/i] (Oxford 2002), Steven P. Hopkins has translated into modern American English verse poems written through the South Indian Srivaisnava thinker and saint-poet Venkatesa (c. 1268-1369).

These poems, in 3 diverse languages - Sanskrit, Tamil, and Maharastri Prakrit -- composed for one specific Hindu god, Vishnu Devanayaka, the "Lord of Gods" at Tiruvahindrapuram, shape a microcosm of the saint-poet's paintings.

They surround significant topics of Venkatesa's devotional poetics, from the play of divine absence and presence on the planet of non secular feelings; the "telescoping" of time earlier and destiny within the everlasting "present" of the poem; love, human vulnerability and the impassible perfected physique of god; to the devotional adventure of a "beauty that saves" and to what Hopkins phrases the paradoxical coexistence of asymmetry and intimacy of lover and loved on the middle of the divine-human come across.

Moreover, those poems shape not just a thematic microcosm, yet a linguistic one embracing all 3 of the poet's operating languages. just like the remembered international of Proust's Combray within the flavor of madeleine dipped in tea, or Blake's international in a Grain of Sand, we flavor and notice, during this one specific position, and during this one specific type of Vishnu, quite a few protean varieties and powers of the divine, and hint a veritable summa of theological, philosophical, and literary designs.

Each translated poem types a bankruptcy in itself, has its personal person brief Afterword, in addition to unique linguistic and thematic notes and observation. the amount concludes, for comparative purposes, with a translation of Tirumankaiyalvar's luminous cycle of verses for Devanayaka from the Periyatirumoli.

As a lot a controversy as an anthology, this publication could be of curiosity to scholars and students of South Asian reports, comparative faith, and Indian literatures.

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Additional info for An Ornament for Jewels: Love Poems for the Lord of Gods

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22 an ornament for jewels Prosody and the Lines on the Page As is obvious from the above example, though I try to hold in general to word order, and even in many cases, to the ‘‘left-branching’’ syntax of Sanskrit and Tamil poetry, I do not attempt to translate into English some version of the meter, rhyme pattern, or line length of the original. I have attempted to match, throughout these translations, the varying complex and densely configured semantic, syntactic, metric rhythms of the originals in the visual placement of words on the page, to mime the breath-lines—slow and loping, or swift, and clean—of Tamil, Sanskrit, or Prakrit meters by placement on the page.

__ First a Jain, Sundarapantiya is said to have been converted to Saivism by __ the Nayanar child saint-poet Campantar. 20 Later, in the eighth century, the Vaisnava _ _ __ king Nandivarman II Pallavamalla carried out systematic persecutions of Buddhists and Jains, inspired in great measure by the fervor of the bhakti revival. 22 The saints in both communities hailed from all social strata, from brahman to untouchable. 25 ¯ lva¯rs’ First A ¯ ca¯ryas and Vexkatesa’s Cosmopolitan Age The A  _ ¯ There began in the period of the Alvars what would become throughout Co¯la   times a more and more intimate alliance between brahmans, their ritually dependent kings, and high-caste, nonbrahman peasants.

Between free translation and outright adaptation? [Answer:] Very often readability. Strict translation usually makes for stiff English, or forced and un-english rhythms. Outright adaptation is perfectly valid if it makes a good, modern poem. Occasionally, an adaptation will translate the spirit of the original to better use than any other method: at other times, it will falsify the original beyond measure. ’’39 These are echoes, verbal reverberations, of the originals, and so are derivative, secondary, loyal to their models in various ways that sometimes stretch the norms of English syntax, but also they seek to be poems in English that stand on the page as poetry in their own right.

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