“John Stratton Hawley miraculously manages to braid the charged erotic and divine qualities of Krishna, the many-named god, while introducing us—with subtle occasional rhyme—to a vividly particularized world of prayers and crocodile earrings, spiritual longing and love-struck bees.”—Forrest Gander, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
An award-winning translation of Hindi verses composed by one of India’s treasured poets.
The blind poet Surdas has been regarded as the epitome of artistry in Hindi verse 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 Hindu 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 collectively as the Sūrsāgar.
This award-winning translation reconstructs the early tradition of Surdas’s verse—the poems that were known to the singers of Surdas’s own time as his. Here Surdas stands out with a clarity never before achieved.