Pocket Poets

Old India's finest in translation

Andrew Schelling

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LOVE LYRICS
Amaru and Bhartri-hari,
translated by Greg Bailey
Bilhana, edited and translated by Richard Gombrich
Clay Sanskrit Library: New York University Press, 2005
380 pp.; $22.00 (cloth)

At one point Henry David Thoreau may have owned the single largest collection of Sanskrit books on our continent. A British friend and disciple, Thomas Cholmondeley, had sent them from London, the gift of an admirer who thought he might assist Henry's spiritual growth. Thoreau built a bookcase with his own hands and proudly displayed the strange volumes to visitors. He never bothered to learn the language, not even the alphabet, telling one friend that for all he knew he had the world's wisdom in his bedroom. What if he learned the tongue and discovered all he owned was a bunch of old books?

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