The poets of classical India regarded love as the first and deepest of passions. Translator and scholar Andrew Schelling perfectly encapsulates the history and passion of eighth-century India in this collection.
“A single stanza of the poet Amaru,” declared a ninth-century poetry critic, “may provide the taste of love equal to what’s found in whole volumes.” Graceful and yet remarkably playful, intensely passionate, and at times hinting of divine transcendence, the poems translated here offer poignant glimpses into the many faces of erotic love. This collection, known in Sanskrit as the Amarushataka (“One Hundred Poems of Amaru”), was compiled in the eighth century and remains to this day one of India’s finest collections of love poetry. Legend connects the poetry’s authorship to King Amaru of Kashmir, while present-day scholars generally consider it an anthology of the verses of many poets.