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Secret Garland: Antal's Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli

Venkatesan, Archana

Description

This book offers new translations of the Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli, composed by the ninth century Tamil mystic and poet Antal. Two of the most significant compositions by a female Hindu mystic, these works give expression to her powerful experiences through the use of vibrant and bold sensuality, in which Visnu is her awesome, mesmerizing, and sometimes cruel lover. Antal’s poetry is characterized by a richness of language in which words are imbued with polyvalence and even the most mundane experiences are infused with the spirit of the divine. Her poems are garlands of words, redolent with meaning waiting to be discovered. Today Antal is revered as a goddess, and as a testament to the enduring relevance of her poetry, her Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli continue to be celebrated in South Indian ritual, music, dance, and the visual arts. Archana Venkatesan’s translations capture the lyricism, beauty, and power of Antal’s original works. The detailed introduction and notes, based on traditional commentaries, also include discussions of the ritual and performative lives of the Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli to highlight the importance of Antal and her two poems over the past one thousand years.

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