The Flight of Love: A Messenger Poem of Medieval South India by Venkatanatha by Steven P. HopkinsThe Flight of Love: A Messenger Poem of Medieval South India by Venkatanatha by Steven P. Hopkins

The Flight of Love: A Messenger Poem of Medieval South India by Venkatanatha

bySteven P. Hopkins

Hardcover | May 16, 2016

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After a sleepless night spent longing for his absent wife Sita, Rama, god-prince and future king, surveyed his army camps on a clear autumn morning and spied a white goose playing in a pond of lotus flowers. Seeing this radiant creature who so resembled his lost beloved, he began to plead withthe bird to give her a message of love and fierce revenge. This is the setting of the Hamsasandesa A Message for the Goose, a sandesa or "messenger poem" by the medieval saint-poet and philosopher Venkatanatha, a seminal figure for the Srivaisnava religious community of Tamil Nadu, South India, and a master poet in Sanskrit and Tamil. In The Flight of Love,Steven P. Hopkins situates Venkatanatha's Sanskrit sandesa within the wider comparative context of South Indian and Sri Lankan literatures. He traces the significance of messenger poetry in the construction of sacred landscapes in pre-modern South Asia and explores the ways the Hamsasandesare-envisions the pan-Indian story of Rama and Sita, rooting its protagonists in a turbulent emotional world where separation, overwhelming desire, and anticipated bliss, are written into the living particularized bodies of lover and beloved, in the "messenger" goose and in the landscapes surroundingthem. Hopkins's translation of the Hamsasandesa into fluid American English verse is framed by a comparative introduction, including an extended essay on translation, detailed linguistic notes, and an expanded thematic commentary that weaves together traditional religious interpretations of the poem withthemes of contemporary literary relevance.
Steven P. Hopkins is Professor of Religion and Coordinator of Asian Studies at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Singing the Body of God: The Hymns of Vedantadesika in Their South Indian Tradition and An Ornament for Jewels: Love Poems for the Lord of Gods by Vedantadesika, which was awarded the 2010 South Asia Co...
Title:The Flight of Love: A Messenger Poem of Medieval South India by VenkatanathaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:May 16, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190495189

ISBN - 13:9780190495183


Editorial Reviews

"As a faithful, yet eminently readable, translation of a beautiful work of Sanskrit poetry, The Flight of Love is an unqualified success. Hopkins adeptly captures the lyricism, mood, and idiom of the original and, through his insightful commentary and notes, brings out its social, historical,linguistic, religious, and aesthetic significance. The introduction itself is a valuable resource for learning about the genres of Sanskrit poetry and the history of South India and Hinduism in the medieval period." --Deven M. Patel Author of Text to Tradition: The Naisadhiyacarita and Literary Community in South Asia