Grow Long, Blessed Night: Love Poems from Classical India

Paperback | December 15, 2000

Translated byMartha Ann Selby

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Like red earth and streaming rain,our loving hearts mergedall by themselves.Captured in these centuries-old verses are the intoxication of new love, the romance of courtship, and the longing of separated lovers. Here are the voices of older women advising their younger friends, the words of messengers conveying secrets between lovers, and the musings of lovers tothemselves. Culled from large anthologies that date from as early as the first century CE to as late as the eighth, Martha Ann Selby's masterful translations allow the poems to stand on their own in English while still maintaining the flavors of the original verses as reflected in idiom andstructure. The books 200 erotic poems are composed in India's three classical languages, Old Tamil, Maharastri Prakit, and Sanskrit, and grouped according to themes, with annotations provided whenever a brief gloss is necessary. After opening with several informative essays on the poems and how toread them, their origin, and the languages in which they were composed, the book proceeds with the delicate images, voices, and emotions of the verses themselves.

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Like red earth and streaming rain,our loving hearts mergedall by themselves.Captured in these centuries-old verses are the intoxication of new love, the romance of courtship, and the longing of separated lovers. Here are the voices of older women advising their younger friends, the words of messengers conveying secrets between lovers, ...

Martha Ann Selby is Assistant Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:283 pages, 8.27 × 5.55 × 0.07 inPublished:December 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019512734x

ISBN - 13:9780195127348

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsPart One: Essays1. IntroductionThe Comparative ProblemThe Tamil CorpusThe Sanskrit CorpusPrakrit iGathas/iCommonalitiesDivergencesAesthetic Response2. Reading "North" and "South": Issues of Comparative Reading and the Classical Poetry of South AsiaiRasa/iiRasa and the Meyppattiyal/iiTinai/iIssues of Comparative ReadingiDhvani/i3. Reading Tamil iCankam/i PoetryiAkam/i and iPuram/iiTinai/i and the Psychology of PlaceU. Ve. Caminataiyar and the Birth of the Modern Tamil Commentary4. Reading the Sanskrit iAmarusataka/iDesire in Interpretation5. Reading the Prakit iGathas/iFormal Structures and the Problem of MeaningCategories of InterpretationInventing Contexts for iMaharastri Gathas/i6. ConclusionSpace, Movement, and Feminine SexualityIn Search of Masculine SexualityPart Two: Translations7. Young Women Speak to Their Female Friends8. The Advice of Older Women to Their Young Friends9. Friends Carry Messages to the Lovers10. Young Men Speak to Their Male Friends11. Young Men Speak to Their Lovers12. Women Speak to Their Lovers13. The Lovers Muse to Themselves14. The Voices of Mothers and Foster Mothers15. Wives Address Their Philandering Husbands16. Wives Speak to Their Husbands' Messengers and to Their Friends17. Wives'Friends Speak to Husbands' Messengers (and to the Husbands Themselves)18. The Voices of Other WomenNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`The translations leap from the eye to the ear, viscerally vernacular, as if newly thought in English. The notes make the most arcane problems vividly clear. And the introductory essays, not just about poetry but about sex, women, love, and gender, are in themselves a major contribution to thestudy of all of these subjects. A pleasure for anyone to read, and a real eye-opener for anyone who claims to know the culture of ancient India, as well as for those who do not.' Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago