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The Cane Groves of Narmada River
Erotic Poems from Old India translated and introduced by Andrew Schelling

The Cane Groves of Narmada River: Erotic Poems from Old India, translated and introduced by Andrew Schelling


 

Of the world’s ancient poetry, that of classical India was the most vividly erotic uninhibited, tender, sad, and joyous by turns. The poems sound as if they might have been written yesterday, although the period covered ranges from roughly 200 CE until about the eleventh century.

"The Cane Groves is a brilliant selection of refined, provocative, shivery-lovely poems. It has a generous bibliography and an astute introduction that illuminates both poetics and scholarship with its insights into wealth of nature imagery, the implicit watershed consciousness, and a sense of the Wild as Tryst. What a gem of a book! It’s the best gathering of Indian short poems yet.” Gary Snyder

"A teacher of Sanskrit at the Naropa Institute in Colorado, Schelling judiciously selects from a wealth of secular and courtly poems on sex and provides translations (no originals) he assures us are literal. The first section draws from the vernacular erotic poems in the Sattasai (or 'Seven Hundred Poems') collected by King Hala in the second century, and are full of rural imagery of sex by rivers and in fields, with attention to positions. The second section of poems from the Sanskrit includes more women's voices, and a more sophisticated sensibility, but follows the same self-contained lyric style, with candid phrases (itchy wombs and 'tits sagging'). Though few of these outdoorsy romances come with names of poets attached, Schelling provides an appendix on what we do know about some of them, and also adds a most useful annotated bibliography."—Kirkus Review

90 pages. Paperback.
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