Singing to the Goddess Poems to Kali and Uma from Bengal

Item Code: IDC933
Author: Rachel Fell McDermott
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Inc.
Edition: 2001
ISBN: 0195134346
Pages: 189
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 9.2" x 6"
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Book Description
About the book

This vibrant collection presents 145 brief Bengali lyric poems dedicated to the Hindu goddesses Kali and Uma. These poems-many of which are presented here for the first time in English translation-were written from the early eighteenth century up to the contemporary period. They represent the unique Bengali tradition of goddess worship (Saktism) as it developed over this period. Included are forty poems by the most famous of all Sakta poets, Ramprasad Sen (c.1718-1775) and ten lyrics by the renowned 20th-century poet Kaji Nazrul Islam. McDermott's lucid introduction places these works in their historical context and shows how images of the goddesses evolved over the centuries. Her lively translations of these poetic lyrics evoke the passion and devotion of the followers of Kali and Uma and shed light on the history and practice of goddess worship.

About the Author

Rachel Fell McDermott is Assistant Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard Collage. She is the author of Mother of My Heart, Daughter of My Dreams: Kali and Uma in the Devotional Poetry of Bengal (OUP, 2001).


Pathways to the Sakta Poetry: Sources, Precedents, and Influences
Poet for the Goddess
Family Resemblances: Sakta Padavali as Bhakti Poetry
The Challenges and Choices in Designing an Anthology
Notes on Transliteration, Translation, and Word Definition

The Poems
Kali among the Corpses: Poem of Battle
The Cosmic Goddess of Transformation
The Magician's Daughter and her playful deceptions
"What kind of Mother Are you?" Cries of Complaint
Petitioning the Compassionate
"Oh My Mind!": Instructing the self
Prioritizing Paths: Tantra, Devotion, and Ritual
The Experience of Kundalini Yoga
In Defiance of Death
Adoring the daughter: Agamani and Vijaya Poems for Uma

A guide to selected names, terms, and texts
Index of poems by author and first line (English)
Index of poems by author and first line (Bengali)
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