Of Erotic Love & Separation: Exquisite Poetry From Amaruśataka

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Amaruśataka, a collection of erotic poems, dated circa 8th century. is about courting, love, betrayal, and sensuality.

The house parrot overheard
the lovers’ sweet nothings
all through the night,
when the sun arose
he spilled the beans;
members of the household
heard every syllable.
When she heard her own sweet words
the woman placed a ruby earring
in front of the bird, hoping he’d take it for
a pomegranate full of seeds –
bite into it and shut up. (16)

Love’s chain has broken,
our friendship gone,
mutual respect and affection
wilted
he’s just some other dude
strolling down the street.

But my eyes follow him, sweet friend,
I can’t help admiring him
day in and day out
how strange it is
that my heart
hasn’t cracked open. (43)

‘Transcreated’ from Sanskrit by Gabriel Rosenstock and Abhay K.

A unique initiative, ‘100 Great Indian Poems,’ much like India, blends boundaries. An immersion into the sights, sounds and the thought patterns of the subcontinent, this book is not just an anthology but a diverse journey across 3000 years of Indian poetry in 28 languages. 

Madras Courier originally ran as a broadsheet with a poetry section. It was a time when readers felt comfortable sharing glimpses of their lives through verse. If you too have a poem you’d like to submit, do email us at editor@madrascourier.com.

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