Sweet Nothings: The Love Poems of Amaru – Lee Siegel (Translator)


One hundred and then some amatory Sanskrit stanzas attributed to an eighth-century poet known as Amaru and translated into english by Lee Siegel.

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Lee Siegel’s English translation of the Amarushataka, an aristocratic collection of eighth-century amorous Sanskrit poems, is at once playful and erudite, amusing and poignant, carnal and sublime. The stanzas are little scenes from a panoramic comedy of erotic love.

The characters: Innocent girls and passionate ladies; devoted husbands and faithless rogues; female confidantes who help, console, or betray their friends.

The plot: First love, sexual union, separation (because of parents, friends, or the woman’s jealous anger because the man has another mistress, or perhaps he must go on a journey), reunion, re-separation, re-reunion.

The theme is the delight of the game, the deliciousness of courtship, and the sweetness of sex.


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