POEMS FROM INDIA by Daisy--Ed. Aldan


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A generously varied selection of Indian poetry from many times and tongues: the first part--unrelated excerpts from the great poems of ancient India--is an unsatisfying exposure, without the felicity of phrase and casual grip that the western youngster is accustomed to, but the subsequent sections are more spirited. There are separate groups of old Tamil verses and Sanskirt court poetry; ""Other Poems of the Middle Period"" include several with teasing sensual intonations and a joking poem ""In Praise of Celibacy,"" The second half of the book contains modern poems and a lot more than Tagore--translations from eleven dialects and several others composed in English. They range from Umashankar Joshi's playful tale of a washerman oblivious to the aesthetic and scientific concerns of Wordsworth and Newton (""The heart/ of this man does not leap up"") to the posed melancholy of Dom Moraes (""I am in love and long to be unhappy"") to Mohan Singh's delightful description of a village girl (""her hips swinging/ Full like wine pitchers""). You won't find another collection containing more than one dialect--fortunately, this is discriminating and not just convenient.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1969
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell