Sanskrit poetry: “If my absent bride were but a pond”

Sanskrit lyric poetry is often noted for its sexual nature and flourished in the eleventh century where it was compiled by Vidyakara under the title “The Treasury of Well-Turned Verse”. Vidyakara, was a poet and a scholar of the XIth century.  Although he is thought to have been a buddhist monk, his “Treasury” is well versed on the matters of heart . This anthology of sanskrit court poetry addresses themes such as sex, love, and heroes, peace and nature.

Ponds in the woods of Thekkady

If my absent bride were but a pond, her eyes the waterlilies and her face the lotus,
her brows the rippling waves, her arms the lotus stems,
then might I dive into the water of loveliness
and cool of limb escape the mortal pain
exacted by the flaming fire of love.

Sanskrit poetry, from Vidyākara’s Treasury. Translated by Daniel H. H. Ingalls.

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