By Bhartrihani, around 650AD in what is now India.
A man may tear a jewel
From a sea monster’s jaws,
Cross a tumultuous sea
Of raging tides,
Or twine garlandwise
A wrathful serpent on his head.
But no man can alter
The thoughts of an obstinate fool.
By Oreruravanar, in India approximately 2000 years ago.
Her arms have the beauty
of a gently moving bamboo.
Her eyes are full of peace.
She is faraway,
her place not easy to reach.
My heart is frantic with haste,
a plowman with a single ox
on land all wet
and ready to seed.
By Bhartrihari, somewhere in India in the 7th century. (A part of me hopes this is about Merida more than Katniss.)
Sweet maid, you perform a singular feat
With the archer’s bow.
You pierce hearts without arrows,
But with strands of your beauty.
Anonymous from India over 1300 years ago.
A long time back
when we were first in love
our bodies were always as one
later you became
and I became your dearest
and now beloved lord
you are my husband
I am your wife
our hearts must be
as hard as the middle of thunder
now what have I to live for
Sanskrit, about 1500 years ago.
before leaving on a journey
is still in the house speaking
to the gods and already
separation is climbing like
bad monkeys to the window.
By Ceraman Kottampalattut, somewhere within 1800 and 2000 years ago, in either India or Sri Lanka (best I can come up with).
Great it may be,
yet my grief has limits,
for it is not strong enough to kill me.
On the weed-strewn salt earth of the burning ground,
on a pile of logs set aflame
her bed blazing fire.
My woman is dead, she belongs to the other world,
yet I am still alive.
This life is strange.
Mirabai, 16th century India
Something has reached out and taken in the beams of my eyes.
There is a longing, it is for his body, for every hair of that dark body.
All I was doing was being, and the Dancing Energy came by my house.
His face looks curiously like the moon, I saw it from the side, smiling.
My family says, “Don’t ever see him again!” And implies things in a low voice.
But my eyes have their own life; they laugh at rules, and know whose they are.
I believe I can bear on my shoulders whatever you want to say of me.
Mira says: Without the energy that lifts mountains, how am I to live?