Sensuous Tamil Poetry

Excerpted from William Dalrymple “nine lives” Elsewhere, Hindu devotional sculpture can often be unembarassedly erotic.

This same sensuousness is also there in startlingly beautiful Tamil
poetry of the period Her arms have the beauty
Of a gently moving bamboo.
Her eyes are full of peace.
she is faraway
Her place is not easy to reach
My heart is frantic
With haste
A ploughman with a single ox
On a land all wet
And ready for seed

Or again My love
Whose bangles
Glitter, jingle,
As she chases crabs
Suddenly stands shy,
head lowered,
Hair hiding her face,
But only till the misery of evening
passes, when she”ll give me
the full pleasure
Of her breasts.