The Absent Traveller: Prākrit Love Poetry from the Gāthāsaptaśatī of Sātavāhana Hāla

The Gathasaptasati may be the oldest extant anthology of poetry from South Asia, containing our very earliest examples of secular verse. Reputed to were compiled via the Satavahana king Hala within the moment century CE, it's a celebrated selection of seven hundred verses in Maharashtri Prakrit, composed within the compact, distilled gatha shape. The anthology has attracted numerous realized commentaries and now, via Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s acclaimed translation of 207 verses from the anthology, readers of English eventually have entry to its poems. The audio system are more often than not girls and, even if younger or outdated, married or unmarried, they contact as regards to sexuality with frankness, sensitivity and, each now and again, humour, which by no means ceases to surprise.

The Absent visitor comprises a chic and stimulating translator’s observe and an afterword by way of Martha Ann Selby that gives an admirable creation to Prakrit literature typically and the Gathasaptasati specifically.

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London: Anvil Press Poetry. Notes to the Poems not like its Tamil cousin, the Prākrit gāthā doesn't have a colophon to provide the poem’s speaker (‘What Her woman good friend Said’) and set the scene (her lover inside of earshot, in the back of a fence). The commentaries at the Gāthāsaptaśatī occasionally disagree on those issues, and i've within the notes less than relied mainly on Gaṅgādhara’s sixteenth-century (? ) paintings to spot the voice and, extra curiously, the purpose at the back of it. The poems are numbered in line with Albrecht Weber’s Das Saptaçatakam des Hāla (Leipzig, 1881), and the references are to the numbers of the poems. The translations as much as Poem 701 have been made up of Mathuranath Sastri’s version, and thereafter from S. A. Jogalekar’s. either variants stick with Weber’s textual content. Poem 2. This introductory gatha is certainly one of nearly eighty-two poems from the Gāthāsaptaśatī in Jayavallabh’s Vajjālaggaṃ (Patwardhan 1969), a Prākrit anthology compiled among the 8th and fourteenth centuries. Poem nine. the 1st of numerous poems on trysting-places (saṃketa-sthāna). The heroine is consoled by way of her woman buddy who exhibits her another rendezvous, a hemp backyard yellow with vegetation; evaluate 693. a few others during this style are 103, 104, a hundred and ten, 295, 402, 550, 628, 676, 769 and 874. For commentatorial methods to those and different rendezvous poems, see Dundas (1985). Poem eleven. The scene at her toes reminds the lady of a coital position—‘the postilion place’ as Flaubert known as it—and therefore the laughter (Gaṅgādhara). Poem 24. Any spouse to any husband, sitting beside her out of a feeling of accountability. Poem 30. The hero, a negative wife-ridden guy, and realizing no greater, misses out on sweeter possibilities. neem: Azadirachta indica; evergreen tree of India and Malaysia; its leaves and bark are sour, and bugs often go away it by myself. Poem 36. an extraordinary instance of a devoted spouse who, regardless of all odds, retains to the directly and slender. Poem forty three. mom: Prākrit mae, utilized in the feel of an older girl. Poem forty nine. The speaker is a swayaṃdūtī, a girl who's her personal go-between. See additionally 335, 550 and 669. Poem fifty two. in line with Mathuranath Sastri, the heroine, having chided her guy for being a terrible lover, takes his place and is quickly exhausted. For as soon as it supplies him whatever to discuss. For a pleasant standpoint on viparītarata or ‘contrary intercourse’, see Ingalls (1965: Intr. 19, par. 10). different verses in this edition are 391, 483 and 656. Poem fifty six. A bawd shows to a consumer that irrespective of how inexpert the fellow, her lady isn't one to whinge (Gaṅgādhara). sirissa: Albizzia lebbek; a wide deciduous tree with an umbrella-shaped crown and aromatic, soft white vegetation. the sphere publications to Indian bushes occasionally quote a couple of traces of Sanskrit poetry of their access at the sirissa. Poem fifty eight. This ambiguous poem is 374 within the Vajjālaggaṃ, the place apparently in ‘The part on Separation’; for a close notice, see Patwardhan (1969: 479-80). Poem 70. ‘What Her lady pal stated’ to a prôshitabhatṛika (a girl whose husband is abroad); for a parallel Caṅkam poem and its dialogue, see Ramanujan (1985: 240).

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