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Kabir: The Weaver's Songs

The Weaver's Songs

Vinay Dharwadker - Author

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ISBN 9780143029687 | 332 pages | 16 May 2005 | Penguin Global | 5.23 x 8.07in | 18 - AND UP
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One of India's greatest mystics, Kabir (1398-1448) was also a satirist and philosopher, and a poet of timeless wit and wisdom. Equally immersed in theology and social thought, music and politics, his songs have won devoted followers from every walk of life through the past five centuries. He was a Muslim by name, but his ideas stand at the intersection of Hinduism and Islam, Bhakti and Yoga, religion and secularism. And his words were always marked by rhetorical boldness and conceptual subtlety.

This book offers a sparkling new translation of one hundred poems, drawing for the first time on major sources in half a dozen literary languages. They closely mimic the structure, voice and style of the originals, revealing Kabir's multiple facets in historical and cultural contexts. Finely balancing simplicity and complexity, this selection opens up new forms of imagination and experience for discerning readers around the world.

Kabir Translator's Note

Introduction
Kabir, His Poetry and His World
1. The Life of a Weaver
2. The Fabric of the Text
3. The Thread of Authorship
4. The Design of the Poetry

The Poems
I. 'Sixty Threads in the Warp'
Poems from the Northern Texts

The Final State
Body and Self
Slander
Birth and Light
The Senses
The Master Weaver
Trap
Poverty
Fable
Departure
Ant
Mosque with Ten Doors
The Way
Purity
Greed
The Jewel
Allah-Rama

II. 'I've Painted My Body Red'
Poems from the Western Texts

Wedding
Fever
The Provider
Debate
Mother and Son
Banaras and Magahar
Let Me See You
Storm
The Love of King Rama
Doer and Deed
Maya
Meditation
Sapling and Seed
Moth
Deadly Business

III. 'The Ganga Drains the Ocean'
Poems from the Eastern Texts

Warrior
Rama's Essence
The Simple State
The Ten Avatars
Parting
A City Ablaze
Holiness and Hell

IV. 'Neither Line Nor Form'
A Selection of Aphorisms

Shaloks from the Adi Granth
Sakhis from the Kabir Granthavali
Sakhis from the Bijak

V. 'This Sheet, So Fine, So Fine'
A Selection of Songs

Sheet
The Flawless One
Breath
The Bhakta's Caste
Garden
The Mystery of Maya
Swan
Fish
The Ineffable
Apostasy
Allah-and-Rama
Neither This Nor That
Rain
Creation
Don't Stay

Notes to the Poems
Note on the Transliteration
Glossary
Bibliography


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