|Photo by Mrs. Eardley Wilmot, illustrating|
a special edition of India's Love Lyrics
"The weirdly wistful wailing of the melancholy flute" is a drawn out phrase, calling for attention. Krishna is known to play a flute, and is subtley invoked in the strange but hardly dreary music. Dutiful affection has also been banished and the poet's invitation "Will you come to me today?" hints at an afternoon of pleasure, sandwiched "between the crushing years". It is a period of indulgence recklessly worth any risk - even "eternities of tears."
This last sentiment is one of Hope's finest philosophies, which we encounter again in the The Teak Forest's "little noontide of love's delights, between two nights". Thus despite the seemingly frivolous invitation, Valgovind's song leaves us in a rather profound space, like an awe inspiring
theatrical play with an overarching set - the great stages in human life of birth and death acting as parenthesis to our brief, fatal burst of human mortality. Now the poet's reckless argument sounds almost sensible - why not find a little pleasure in the face of the obliteration before and behind? She need not ask twice, I would come swiftly to her oasis among the ruins.
|By Bruno Tinucci|
"The fields are full of Poppies,
and the skies are very blue"
|Krishna on the river disguised as Boatman|
with his companion Gopis
The Boatman may be singing to us, or it may be that Violet is speaking to her Beloved. Yet the ancient temple carvings of the second and third stanzas seem to invoke Krishna with a gopi, perhaps Rhada. Their eternal pleasure is carved in stone - a unity of love manifested right out of the earth itself. It is an almost eternal love, defying the vast unknown mysteries before birth and after death. Those blank regions may or may not hold paradise, but they can definitely not service the peak of fleshy carnality that may be sought and found here on earth. The poet tells us this sublime earthly union is well worth seeking at any price, if only for a day.
For more on the Gita Govinda, and Krishna with Rhada in the pleasure garden, the book Unveiling the Garden of Love: Mystical Symbolism in Layla Majnun & Gita Govinda by Lalita Sinha is delightfully readable.
NOTE: "In The Early Pearly Morning - Song by Valgovind" and the next four poems of India's Love Lyrics may be listened to here. This is a sneak preview and will not be available on Librivox until the entire book has been recorded.