To her friend

Here's a song from In Praise of Krishna: Songs From the Bengali, translated by Edward C. Dimock, Jr., and Denise Levertov. The poems in the book are kirtans, hymns of praise, which rose out of a devotional movement in Bengal which flowered from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries.

To her friend

My mind is not on housework.
Now I weep, now I laugh at the world's censure.
He draws me - to become
an outcast, a hermit woman in the woods!
He has bereft me of parents, brothers, sisters,
my good name. His flute
took my heart --
his flute, a thin bamboo trap enclosing me --
a cheap bamboo flute was Radha's ruin.
That hollow, simple stick -- fed nectar by his lips, but issuing

If you should find a clump of jointed reeds,
pull off their branches!
Tear them up by the roots!
Throw them
into the sea.

Dvija Chandidasa says, Why the bamboo?
Not it but Krishna enthralls you: him you cannot uproot.

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