The Memory of Love: Sūrdās Sings to Krishna

 
Citation
Title:
The Memory of Love: Sūrdās Sings to Krishna
Author:
Editor:
City:
New York
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Year:
2009
Volume:
No. of Volumes:
Edition:
Pages:
Series Volume:
Series Editor:
Series Title:
Translator:
Language:
English
URL:
DOI:
LCCN:
2008031794
OCLC Number:
License
Select License
ISBN:
9780195373998
Last Updated:
October 8th, 2011
Abstract

No Hindu god is closer to the soul of poetry than Krishna, and in North India no poet ever sang of Krishna more famously than Surdās or Sur, for short. He lived in the sixteenth century and became so influential that for centuries afterward aspiring Krishna poets signed their compositions orally with his name.

This book takes us back to the source, offering a selection of Surdas's poems that were known and sung in the sixteenth century itself. Here we have poems of war, poems to the great rivers, poems of wit and rage, poems where the poet spills out his disappointments. Most of all, though, we have the memory of love-poems that adopt the voices of the women of Krishna's natal Braj country and evoke the power of being pulled into his irresistible orbit. Following the lead of several old manuscripts, Jack Hawley arranges these poems in such a way that they tell us Krishna's life story from birth to full maturity.

These lyrics from Sur's Ocean (the Sursagar) were composed in the very tongue Hindus believe Krishna himself must have spoken: Brajbhasa, the language of Braj, a variety of Hindi. Hawley prepares the way for his verse translations with an introduction that explains what we know of Surdas and describes the basic structure of his poems. For readers new to Krishna's world or to the subtleties of a poet like Surdas, Hawley also provides a substantial set of analytical notes. "Sur is the sun," as a familiar saying has it, and we feel the warmth of his light in these pages.


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AlibrisVery good. No Dustjacket pp.315. paperback edition."Surdas is unarguably the best known poet in Vrajbhasha, the most widely understood of the medieval Hindi literary dialects. He is the foremost Hindi poet of Krishna devotion and his verses are canonical in the Krishnaite tradition, which today is particularly vital in Western India. The verses are sung popularly throughout the Hindi-speaking regions. … 8vo. US$ 18.00 US$ 3.50US$ 21.50
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