I Keep Vigil of Rudra  -  The Vachanas

I Keep Vigil of Rudra - The Vachanas

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Author: H S Shiva Prakash
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): H S Shiva Prakash
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 252
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143063575


One of the only collections of Vachana poetry in translation—a must read for all poetry lovers

"Here I come, a ferryman without a body
To the great flowing river.
If you pay the price–
Your mind

That grasps and lets go,
I shall take you across”

Vachana poetry in Kannada literature attained its zenith in the twelfth century. Passionate, intensely personal, and ahead of their times, these free-verse poems speak eloquently of the futility of formal learning, the vanity of wealth and the evils of social divisions.

The vachanas stress on the worship of Shiva, through love, labour and devotion, as the only worthwhile life-goal for the vachanakara—the vachana poet.

This collection offers a selection of vachanas composed by a wide range of vachanakaras from different walks of life writing during that period. While some of these poets are well known even today, most have been forgotten.

Translated fluidly and with great skill by H.S. Shivaprakash, I Keep Vigil of Rudra is not only an important addition to Vachana literature, but also a must read for lovers of poetry everywhere.


Abbreviations of the Kannada Source Texts

1. The Path - Vachanas
2. The Path - I Saw This Wonder
3. The Path - Ugh ! This Empty Show of the World
4. The Path - Labour
5. The Path - Journey
6. The Destination - Union
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