Messenger Poems

440 pages

June, 2006

ISBN: 9780814757147

Subjects:

Literature

Part of the Clay Sanskrit Library series

Authors

All books by Kali dasa

All books by Dhoyi

All books by Rupa Gosvamin

Sir James Mallinson translates and edits Sanskrit literature full time for the JJC Foundation, co-publishers (with NYU Press) of the Clay Sanskrit Library.

All books by James Mallinson

Sanskrit Messenger poems evoke the pain of separated sweethearts through the formula of an estranged lover pleading with a messenger to take a message to his or her beloved. The plea includes a lyrical description of the route the messenger will take and the message itself. The first was the Cloud Messenger, composed by Sanskrit’s finest poet, Kali·dasa, in the fifth century CE. This inspired the next, the Wind Messenger, composed in praise of King Lákshmana·sena of Gauda (Bengal) in the twelfth century by Dhoyi, one of his court poets. Numerous more followed, including the third in the CSL selection, the sixteenth-century Swan Messenger, composed in Bengal by Rupa Go·svamin, a devotee of Krishna.

Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation

For more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http://www.claysanskritlibrary.org

Reviews

  • “The books line up on my shelf like bright Bodhisattvas ready to take tough questions or keep quiet company. They stake out a vast territory, with works from two millennia in multiple genres: aphorism, lyric, epic, theater, and romance.”

    —Willis G. Regier, The Chronicle Review

  • “No effort has been spared to make these little volumes as attractive as possible to readers: the paper is of high quality, the typesetting immaculate. The founders of the series are John and Jennifer Clay, and Sanskritists can only thank them for an initiative intended to make the classics of an ancient Indian language accessible to a modern international audience.”

    The Times Higher Education Supplement

  • “The Clay Sanskrit Library represents one of the most admirable publishing projects now afoot. . . . Anyone who loves the look and feel and heft of books will delight in these elegant little volumes.”

    New Criterion

  • “Published in the geek-chic format.”

    BookForum

  • “Very few collections of Sanskrit deep enough for research are housed anywhere in North America. Now, twenty-five hundred years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, the ambitious Clay Sanskrit Library may remedy this state of affairs.”

    Tricycle