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Oxford University Press, USA

The Memory of Love: Surdas Sings to Krishna

The Memory of Love: Surdas Sings to Krishna

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No Hindu god is closer to the soul of poetry than Krishna, and in North India no poet ever sang of Krishna more famously than SūrdD=as-or Sūr, for short. He lived in the sixteenth century and became so influential that for centuries afterward aspiring Krishna poets signed their compositions
orally with his name.

This book takes us back to the source, offering a selection of Sūrdās's poems that were known and sung in the sixteenth century itself. Here we have poems of war, poems to the great rivers, poems of wit and rage, poems where the poet spills out his disappointments. Most of all, though, we have the
memory of love-poems that adopt the voices of the women of Krishna's natal Braj country and evoke the power of being pulled into his irresistible orbit. Following the lead of several old manuscripts, Jack Hawley arranges these poems in such a way that they tell us Krishna's life story from birth to
full maturity.

These lyrics from Sūr's Ocean (the Sūrsāgar) were composed in the very tongue Hindus believe Krishna himself must have spoken: Brajbhāsā, the language of Braj, a variety of Hindi. Hawley prepares the way for his verse translations with an introduction that explains what we know of Sūrdās and
describes the basic structure of his poems. For readers new to Krishna's world or to the subtleties of a poet like Sūrdās, Hawley also provides a substantial set of analytical notes. Sūr is the sun, as a familiar saying has it, and we feel the warmth of his light in these pages.

Author: John Stratton Hawley
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Published: 04/07/2009
Pages: 304
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.95lbs
Size: 9.10h x 6.00w x 1.00d
ISBN: 9780195373998

About the Author

John Stratton Hawley is Professor of Religion at Barnard College, Columbia University.

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