Singing to the Goddess: Poems to Kali and Uma from Bengal

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9780195134346: Singing to the Goddess: Poems to Kali and Uma from Bengal
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This vibrant collection presents 145 brief Bengali lyric poems dedicated to the Hindu goddesses Kali and Uma. These poems--many of which are presented here for the first time in English translation--were written from the early eighteenth century up to the contemporary period. They represent the unique Bengali tradition of goddess worship (Saktism) as it developed over this period. Included are forty poems by the most famous of all Sakta poets, Ramprasad Sen (c.1718-1775) and ten lyrics by the renowned 20th-century poet Kaji Najrul Islam. McDermott's lucid introduction places these works in their historical context and shows how images of the goddesses evolved over the centuries. Her lively translations of these poetic lyrics evoke the passion and devotion of the followers of Kali and Uma and shed light on the history and practice of goddess worship.

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Rachel McDermott is Assistant Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College.

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Is my black mother Syama really black?
People say Kali is
black,
but my heart doesn't agree.
If She's black,
how can
She light up the world?
Sometimes my Mother is white,
sometimes
yellow, blue, and red.
I cannot fathom Her.
My whole life has
passed
trying.

She is Matter,
then Spirit,
then complete
Void.

It's easy to see
how Kamalakanta
thinking these
things
went crazy.

Kamalakanta Bhattacharya


Oh Mind, you
don't know how to farm;
your human field has fallen
fallow.
Cultivate it, and the crops you'll grow
will gleam like
gold. Fence it round with Kali's name
so your harvest won't be
harmed.
The Wild-Haired One is strong;
Death won't come near
that fence.
Don't you know? Your crops will never fail--
not in
a day, a year, or a century.
So apply yourself, Mind;
work to
reap your harvest.
The Teacher sowed the mantra;
now water his
seed with devotion's showers.
And oh, if you can't do it alone,
Mind, take Ramprasad along.

Ramprasad Sen

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This vibrant collection presents 145 brief Bengali lyric poems dedicated to the Hindu goddesses Kali and Uma. These poems - many of which are presented here for the first time in English translation - were written from the early eighteenth century up to the contemporary period. They represent the unique Bengali tradition of goddess worship (Saktism) as it developed over this period. Included are forty poems by the most famous of all Sakta poets, Ramprasad Sen (c.1718-1775) and ten lyrics by the renowned 20th-century poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. McDermott s lucid introduction places these works in their historical context and shows how images of the goddesses evolved over the centuries. Her lively translations of these poetic lyrics evoke the passion and devotion of the followers of Kali and Uma and shed light on the history and practice of goddess worship. Seller Inventory # AAV9780195134346

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This vibrant collection presents 145 brief Bengali lyric poems dedicated to the Hindu goddesses Kali and Uma. These poems - many of which are presented here for the first time in English translation - were written from the early eighteenth century up to the contemporary period. They represent the unique Bengali tradition of goddess worship (Saktism) as it developed over this period. Included are forty poems by the most famous of all Sakta poets, Ramprasad Sen (c.1718-1775) and ten lyrics by the renowned 20th-century poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. McDermott s lucid introduction places these works in their historical context and shows how images of the goddesses evolved over the centuries. Her lively translations of these poetic lyrics evoke the passion and devotion of the followers of Kali and Uma and shed light on the history and practice of goddess worship. Seller Inventory # AAV9780195134346

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