Black Marigolds

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Regarding the tremendous popularity of this khandakavya, Kawthekar[vi] says that apart from Meghaduttam of Kalidas, no other lyrical poem has been traditionally as popular as Chaurapanchashika. Though its expression is unreserved and free, it nowhere appears to be shallow or merely tantalizing for the reader. The psychological aspects of the element of sensuousness prevailing throughout the poem are aptly described by Deborah B Levine[vii] in the following words:.

She exists to respond to nothing but his idea of her passion.

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It is through the female figure of Shashikala or Champavati, or by whichever name one calls the heroine, that Bilhana is able to give his innermost desires a tangible form. While describing her physical, emotional and psychological state, he actually betrays his own craving for her and his sense of loss in separation from her. In this series of 15 folios, one can find emergence of a new style, trying to declare its independence from the rigid conventions of Jain miniature painting. Gone is the extended further eye, seen in almost all Jain paintings.

The paintings of this series follow the Jain tradition of combining a verse and its illustration with the space usually divided into two sections by an architectural element. What is interesting, the names of both the protagonists, Champavati and Bilhana in this case, are boldly written in yellow on top of their respective portrayals. The theme is depicted with strong, confident lines, brilliant colours and bold patterns but with a controlled workmanship. The background, lively and emotionally charged as it is, has not been painted in realistic manner, but rendered in bright yellows, deep reds and dark greens, which enhance the passionate mood depicted in the paintings.

The pleasure he derives from recalling his passionate past is unmistakable. Even now I regret her Gleaning in garlands of gold champaka flowers, Her lotus face blossoming, The line of down delicate at her waist Her body trembling and eager for love When she wakes from sleep- Magic somehow I lost in recklessness Translated by Barbara S. Free translation of the same verse by Mathers. The next verse describes in detail the facial expressions of the princess after a pleasant night of lovemaking.


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Her expressive and elongated eyes, mentioned in the verse, can be so vividly seen in the paintings too. The eyes reflect naughtiness and seem to hint at the secrecy of the love affair. Translatation by E. Powys Mathers. It becomes clear that he values nothing in the universe than the time spent with his beloved and given a chance he would want to prolong the enchanting moments for eternity. About the poet and his creation: Kashmir was already a world-renowned centre of Sanskrit learning and literature when Bilhana appeared on the scene, with a good number of great poets and scholars having made significant contributions to it.

Free translation of the same verse by Mathers The next verse describes in detail the facial expressions of the princess after a pleasant night of lovemaking. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem?

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Black Marigolds | E. Powys Mathers, Glenys Cour, Translation, Artist | Limited Edition

Return to Book Page. Preview — Black Marigolds by Bilhana. Black Marigolds by Bilhana ,. Powys Mathers Translator. Book Description: "This is a versified translation of the Caurapancasika. This love poem of fifty stanzas was written by the Kasmiri poet Bilhana Kavi in the 11th century. The story runs that the Brahman Bilhana had a clandestine love affair with Princess Yaminipurnatilaka, the daughter of King Madanabhirama.

He was discovered and Bilhana wrote this poem in prison before he learned wh Book Description: "This is a versified translation of the Caurapancasika. He was discovered and Bilhana wrote this poem in prison before he learned whether he would be executed or banished.


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  • The historic outcome is unknown, which adds to the readers' suspense. Initially this poem was transmitted orally, and by the time it was written down, there several variations: the South Indian versions tend to have a happy ending, and the Northern, Kashmiri, recension has an open ending. All books are priced at wholesale prices.

    We are also the only publisher we know of to print in large sans-serif font, which is proven to make the text easier to read and put less strain on your eyes. Get A Copy. Paperback , 26 pages. More Details Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    To ask other readers questions about Black Marigolds , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters.

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    Sort order. Start your review of Black Marigolds. Aug 11, Mike rated it really liked it. An 11th century Indian love poem, apparently based on a true story, widely excerpted in Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Not to everyone's taste, I'm sure, but I'm interested and intrigued by obscure 'ancient' literature, so I found it fascinating.