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  • Radha Speaks
  • Translated by Andrew Schelling (bio)

gaṇayati guṇagrāmaṃ bhāmaṃ bhramād api nehate    vahati ca parītoṣaṃ doṣaṃ vimuñcati dūrataḥyuvatiṣu balastṛṣṇe kṛṣṇe vihāriṇi māṃ vinā    punar api mano vāmaṃ kāmaṃ karoti karomi kim

  • gaṇayati. (my heart) values

  • guṇagrāmaṃ. (his) collection of virtues

  • bhāmaṃ. wrath

  • bhramāt. due to his straying, infidelity

  • api. even

  • na-īhate. won’t consider

  • vahati. pardons, forgives

  • ca. and

  • parītoṣaṃ. gladly

  • doṣaṃ. (his) faults, transgressions

  • vimuñcati. releases, denies

  • dūrataḥ. (when he is) far off

  • yuvatiṣu-balas-tṛṣṇe. (loc. abs.) craving for young women

  • kṛṣṇe. Krishna

  • vihāriṇi. when he wanders

  • māṃ. me

  • vinā. without

  • punaḥ. again

  • api. in fact

  • mano. my heart

  • vāmaṃ kāmaṃ. crooked or crazy desire

  • karoti. makes, conceives

  • karomi kim. what can I do? [End Page 108]

Radha speaks

My conflicted hearttreasures even his infidelities.Won’t admit anger.Forgives the deceptions.Secret desires arise in my breasts.What can I do? Krishnahungry for loversslips off without me.This torn heart grows onlymore ardent.

Radha’s heart makes or conceives vāmaṃ kāmaṃ (crooked desires). Is it because her heart pardons Krishna’s faults and rejects anger? Or has something unexpectedly crooked, some crazy desire, awakened within her? Except for the final cry—karomi kim (what can I do?)—the subject of the entire verse is her manas (heart). [End Page 109]

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. 108-109
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