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CompleteMartialArts.com - Singing to the Goddess: Poems to Kali and Uma from Bengal

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Manufacturer: Oxford University Press, USA
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 891.44104083829452114
EAN: 9780195134346
ISBN: 0195134346
Label: Oxford University Press, USA
Manufacturer: Oxford University Press, USA
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 208
Publication Date: 2001-03-01
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Studio: Oxford University Press, USA

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Editorial Reviews:

This vibrant collection presents 145 brief Bengali lyric poems dedicated to the Hindu goddesses Kali and Uma. These poems--many of which are presented here for the first time in English translation--were written from the early eighteenth century up to the contemporary period. They represent the unique Bengali tradition of goddess worship (Saktism) as it developed over this period. Included are forty poems by the most famous of all Sakta poets, Ramprasad Sen (c.1718-1775) and ten lyrics by the renowned 20th-century poet Kaji Najrul Islam. McDermott's lucid introduction places these works in their historical context and shows how images of the goddesses evolved over the centuries. Her lively translations of these poetic lyrics evoke the passion and devotion of the followers of Kali and Uma and shed light on the history and practice of goddess worship.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Om Kali Om Durga Om Ma
Comment: I am a blown out Sixties Hippie running on an 8th grade education so was not sure if the Barnard scholar's book would resonate with me. It found that it surely did. I have been a western devotee of the this Goddess since I was a flowers in your hair San Franscisco runaway kid. I am not much of a singer and know little Bengali or Sanskrit yet I have repeated mantras and prayers in those languages as the structure of my daily faith since those early years. To find meaningful devotional poerty to the Goddess so well done in English is very rare and really adds much to my life. I read the Lex Hixon translations and found them full of later doctrine and much too wordy and full of Hixon for me to use in prayer. The translantions in M's own 1907 and the latter spruced up Gospel of Sri Ramkrishna are better but IMHO still a tad overdone and therefore rather weak (at least to this heart) Previous to this work by Rachel McDermott I have used devotionally Grace and Mercy in Her Wild Hair by Nathan and Seely which I found match my inner longings and experience perfectly as does this more expansive work by McDermott. I want to thank her for introducing me to a such wider range of voices of this tradition (all so well presented, so very crisp and clear). I am also reading her Mother of My Heart Daughter of My Dreams. I was suprised how much this scholary research has added to my inner landscape. Most other "texts" I have read leave me yawning and very tangled in mind. The author seems to have just the right knack for planting soul into the soil of facts to keep in all in the now and so alive. Her finding of an original oil painting of Ramprasad done in his time blew my mind. He looks just like what every young Haight Asbury yogi was aspiring to be. These short poems are large in number, disarmingly simple, vibrant and full of comlex power. I don't know what they mean for the world of the intellect or historical research but they represent a wonderful freshness of vision: a brand new toolbox containing whole yak load of gorgeous devotional feelings to an average guy like me. Rachel, thank you again, again and again. Joy Ma Anandamoi

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