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  • You Ignored
  • Translated by Andrew Schelling (bio)

anālocya premṇaḥ pariṇatim anādṛtya suhṛdas    tvayā'kāṇḍe mānaḥ kimiti sarale preyasi kṛtaḥsamākṛṣṭā hyete virahadahanodbhāsuraśikhāḥ    svahastenāṃgārās tad alam adhunā'raṇyaruditaiḥ

  • anālocya. ignoring, disregarding

  • premṇaḥ. love

  • pariṇatim. cycles, transformations, maturing

  • anādṛtya. without respecting

  • suhṛdaḥ. friends

  • tvayā. by you

  • akāṇḍe. without cause

  • mānaḥ. coldness, jealous accusation

  • kim-iti. why

  • sarale-preyasi. (loc.) (at your) true, sincere lover

  • kṛtaḥ. is made (with mānaḥ)

  • samākṛṣṭā. gathered, drawn to oneself

  • hi. (excl.) surely

  • ete. these

  • viraha-dahana-udbhāsura-śikhāḥ. (bv. cmpd.) flaring with the angry fire of betrayal

  • viraha. separation, betrayal

  • dahana. burning

  • udbhāsura. glow

  • śikhāḥ. flames

  • sva-hastena. by your own hand

  • aṃgārās. coals

  • tad-alam. enough of this

  • adhunā. now

  • araṇya-ruditaiḥ. forest-weeping, wild lament, animal howls [End Page 92]

You ignoredthe turning seasons of love,shook off adviceand treated your lover withcold disregard.Brightcoals of betrayalgathered to your own bare breasts,yet you cry out in ragelike a wildanimal wounded.

These opening words, to my mind, capture the entire tradition of love as the Sanskrit poets conceived of it. That is, love follows its own seasons or cycles. The pariṇatim are the cycles, transformations, ripening of premṇaḥ (love). I read the classic anthologies or collections as almanacs: they provide chapters on each of the natural seasons (India knew six: spring, summer, rainy season, autumn, winter, late winter) as well as the seasons of eros, which revolve by their own natural laws. To ignore the changes, to willfully neglect them, was to ensure anguish. The coals in the poem get gathered, drawn together, by sva-hastena (your own hands). Araṇya-ruḍita are forest-cries: wilderness or animal howls. [End Page 93]

Andrew Schelling

Andrew Schelling, born in 1953 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Washington, D.C., has written, edited, or translated twenty books. Early opposition to American involvement in Vietnam, plus an encounter with India’s texts, set him on a lifelong engagement with Asian literature. He studied Sanskrit at the University of California at Berkeley, and began to translate from its classical poetry tradition around 1978. His first book, Dropping the Bow: Poems of Ancient India, received the Academy of American Poets translation award in 1992, the first time the Academy had honored work done from an Asian language. Schelling’s own poetry and essays emerge from the Southern Rocky Mountain bioregion in which he lives. Recent books of poetry wrangle with the Arapaho language as a way of reading landscape and the natural cycles; they include From the Arapaho Songbook and A Possible Bag. He has edited The Oxford Anthology of Bhakti Literature and Love and the Turning Seasons: India’s Poetry of Spiritual and Erotic Longing (forthcoming from Counterpoint Press). Living on the Front Range of Colorado, he is active on land-use issues and teaches at Naropa University. He also teaches regularly at Deer Park Institute, in India’s Himalayan foothills.



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