A teacher of Sanskrit at the Naropa Institute in Colorado, Schelling judiciously selects from a wealth of secular and...

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THE CANE GROVES OF NARMADA RIVER: Erotic Poems from Old India

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.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0872863468

Page Count: 128

Publisher: City Lights

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1998