Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
Sur’s Ocean

Sur’s Ocean

Poems from the Early Tradition

Surdas

Edited by Kenneth E. Bryant
Translated by John Stratton Hawley

ISBN 9780674427778

Publication date: 01/06/2015

Surdas has been regarded as the epitome of artistry in Old Hindi religious poetry from the end of the sixteenth century, when he lived, to the present day. His fame rests upon his remarkable refashioning of the widely known narrative of the cowherd deity Krishna and his lover Radha into lyrics that are at once elegant and approachable. Surdas’s popularity led to the proliferation, through an energetic oral tradition, of poems ascribed to him, known as the Sūrsāgar.

Sur’s Ocean: Poems from the Early Tradition presents a dramatically new edition in Devanagari script and a lyrical English translation. This remarkable volume reconstructs the early tradition of Surdas’s verse—the 433 poems that were known to the singers of Surdas’s own time as his. Here Surdas stands out with a clarity never before achieved.

The Murty Classical Library of India makes available original texts and modern English translations of the masterpieces of literature and thought from across the whole spectrum of Indic languages over the past two millennia in the most authoritative and accessible formats on offer anywhere.

Praise

  • These moving, elegant and accessible poems were hugely popular in their times spawning an oral tradition so vibrant that poems continued to be composed in the tradition started by Sur, under his name, by several other poets as well.

    —Pragya Tiwari, India at LSE blog

Awards

  • 2018, Winner of the A.K. Ramanujan Book Prize for Translation

Authors

  • Kenneth E. Bryant is Associate Professor in Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia.
  • John Stratton Hawley is an award-winning translator and scholar of religious studies. He has written extensively on the bhakti movement and is the Claire Tow Professor of Religion at Barnard College, Columbia University.

Book Details

  • 1072 pages
  • 5-1/4 x 8 inches
  • Harvard University Press

From this author

Recommendations