In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • If He and I
  • Translated by Andrew Schelling (bio)

yadi kathaṃcit prāpsyāmi priyaṃ akṛtaṃ kautukaṃ kariṣyāmipānīyaṃ navake śarāve yathā sarvāṅgeṇa pravekṣyāmi

  • yadi. if

  • kathaṃcit. somehow

  • prāpsyāmi. I should meet

  • priyaṃ. (my) lover

  • akṛtaṃ. undone, never-before-done

  • kautukaṃ. singular or surprising thing, a pleasure

  • kariṣyāmi. I will do, perform

  • pānīyaṃ. water

  • navake. newly made, new

  • śarāve. pot, clay jug, earthenware

  • yathā. as

  • sarva. all, complete

  • aṅgeṇa. with (my) body

  • pravekṣyāmi. I will enter [End Page 100]

If he and Imeet againI’ll give him something nogirl ever has,wholebody coming andgoing inside himwater in an earthenwarejar

Hemacandra (1088–1172) was a Jain scholar from what is now Gujarat State. Among the many topics he wrote on, including military policy and a prohibition on the use of weapons of mass destruction—such as crushing opponents with avalanches—was grammar. In his book some fine poems survive that don’t appear anywhere else. This one is from a chapter on loan words into Sanskrit. It is the earthen jar, śarāva, that interests him—a touch of indigenous culture. It offers a twist on the image of the clay jug: newly worked earthenware needs to be seasoned with water before it will hold.

All three verbs (prāpsyāmi, kariṣyāmi, pravekṣyāmi) are future tense. [End Page 101]

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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pp. 100-101
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