About the Books | Acknowledgements | Note on the Translation
Note on the Translation
I have attempted to keep things as simple as possible. These poems are
loyal to the originals but not literal. I have tried to focus on the feeling rather than
the words. In the interests of simplicity, I have dropped a lot of the old-Hindi
terminology and tried to see the poems in a universal light. I left out punctuation and
capitals except where necessary.
I work as a poet, not a scholar, and these poems are inspirations, not
explanations. I want to draw attention, not to the poems or the poets, but to the
experience they talk about.
I know these poems mainly as songs. They are the gospel and folk music
of India. There are thousands of such songs floating around, in different languages,
composed by different saint-poets. I find them very inspiring and they never get old. Each
song is unique. Each has its own tune (raga), rhythm, mood, etc. Each is unforgettable and
grows and evolves in my mind. As time passes, they are yielding newer and deeper insights
and are becoming more and more intimate.
I love listening to them.