Songs of Kabir
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Songs of Kabir

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  297 ratings  ·  26 reviews
"Kabir's poems give off a marvelous radiant intensity." — The New York Times Book Review.A weaver by trade and a mystic by nature, the 15-century poet Kabir created timeless works of enlightenment that combine the philosophies of Sufism, Hinduism, and the Kabbala. Expressed in imagery drawn from common life and the universal experience, Kabir's poems possess an appealing s...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published February 2nd 2004 by Dover Publications (first published January 1st 1974)
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Judy Croome
Jun 09, 2012 Judy Croome rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystics, spiritual seekers
I downloaded this free Kindle edition with some trepidation, expecting what I paid...nothing. Instead, as I became fascinated with Evelyn Underhill’s erudite and detailed introduction to this edition, translated by the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, I realised I’d stumbled on a gem.

The introduction is essential to gaining a deeper understanding of the lyrical, mystical poems that follow. Reading it again after one has read the SONGS OF KABIR deepens both the enjoyment of the introduction it...more
Sanjay Gautam
ultimate translation in english i have ever read.
Michelle
I stumbled upon this copy as a free book for the kindle. I could not have stumbled upon it at a better time. A young man very close to my son had just taken his life a couple of days prior to me reading this. The young man was a beautiful reckless spirit who had a deep love for music. He was a talented musician and his voice will live on in his recordings. The Songs of Kabir helped me to not dwell on my tears and stopped me from internalizing and twisting the events of the week into something pe...more
Steve Nojek
I keep Kabir around to remember the way. Tagore is a passionate, clear translater.
Michelle
My first exposure to Kabir.

I liked:
-- This edition - its preface and introduction, clear citation of source texts, and notes throughout.
-- It didn't leave the reader on his/her own. It felt as though there were a guide for the journey.
-- Being exposed to a different way of translating.

I wasn't captured by Kabir as I expected to be. If the poems were to stand alone, it's likely an "it was ok."

You should know:
-- These are translations and modern interpretations (maybe not the right word). Mehro...more
اویس
"KABÎR says: "O Sadhu! hear my deathless words. If you want your own good, examine and consider them well.
You have estranged yourself from the Creator, of whom you have sprung: you have lost your reason, you have bought death.
All doctrines and all teachings are sprung from Him, from Him they grow: know this for certain, and have no fear.
Hear from me the tidings of this great truth!
Whose name do you sing, and on whom do you meditate? O, come forth from this entanglement!
He dwells at the heart of...more
Keith Willcock

Born around 1440 in Banares, India of Muslim parents, Kabir became a disciple of Ramananda, a Hindu ascetic, whose teachings represented a move away from strict Hindu orthodoxy and toward "a religion of love."

He attempted, quite successfully, to bring together the best of Mohammedan mysticism and Hinduism in a unique appeal to our hearts and this book reflects that very much. His poems range from an ethereal quest for the Absolute to intimate personal conversations with his inner God-Self.

I find...more
Nick
Every now and then I run across someone who seems to have figured it all out -- and by 'it' I mean life, death, the universe, meaning, all that stuff. The Songs of Kabir are astonishing. In the 1400s, when everyone else was killing each other over religious strife, Kabir was writing celebratory songs about the emptiness of religious dogma and the importance of finding meaning underneath all the superficial things that trouble us from day to day. We don't know much about him or his circumstances...more
Dustyloup
So very wise nuggets in here, though it may be hard for some to separate the wheat from the chaff. I'm looking forward to reading another translation to get a different perspective on the work.
B.e.
Probably a bit harsh on my part, but to be clear this is the translation of Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. Naturally, there are gems; however, the style is very, very colloquial and a bit cutesy with anachronisms abounding. I prefer Tagore's translation. That being said, many find Tagore a bit stuffy by today's standards. If a person doesn't cringe from contemporary poetry in free verse, s/he will probably get a fair bit out of it. If you like how Coleman Barks renders Rumi more than the efforts of Ni...more
Supriya
From Chandrahas' very good WSJ review: "Mr. Mehrotra is one of those translators who is not just a facilitator of the original, but almost a competitor...At many points in this book his use of a clipped, colloquial idiom ("Friend/ You had one life/ And you blew it"; or "I've taken a shine to this thug") perfectly realizes Kabir's tart message. Mr. Mehrotra's bucking, slangy versions attempt ambitiously to make Kabir sound in English as Kabir must have sounded to the Hindustani audiences of his d...more
Eileen
6-29-11I've savored this book slowly as it spoke to my soul on almost every page. Kabir was a l5th century mystic, a weaver by trade, born into a Moslem family and influenced by the Sufis, but also by the Hindus in his native India, as well as the Jewish Kabbala. These poems convey the wisdom of the ages from a passionate lover of God.

Ania
My edition of this book had far too many errors, and I suspect bad translation, hence I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. However, I particularly enjoyed the introduction by Evelyn Underhill.
Kameron
I read the translations of Robert Bly. I was 16. I thought they were the best translations ever. Because I thought Robert Bly was the greatest poet ever. Because I had met him, heard him read, and had him critique my poems.

Later, I met Kabir. Different guy.
Chandra Bhushan Kasera
Read the free e-book copy of the book on my phone... didn't have much expectations but turned out pretty impressive.. Some quotes are brilliant... and it feels the book is talking to your soul...One of the few books which I would like to read again.
John
this is a great translation of a timeless indian mystic.

Strike a half-empty pot, and it'll
Make a loud sound; strike one that is full,
Says Kabir, and hear the silence.

kabir is a very full pot.
Aziz
Fantastic book. Nice poetry of awakening, intimate moments with the Beloved.
Recommended by Osho and me :)
Amreet
Some lines were very perceptive and well put. Some were just silly. Such is poetry.
Christine
I really am loving these poems, worth reading again and again.
Elizabeth
Oh, I love this book, I love it madly. Bhakti-poetry, yum.
Ayman
Beautiful. but misses the original Punjabi versions.
Sachin
Is it Tagore or is it Kabir? Or is it both together?
Matthew
i laugh when i hear the fish is thirsty...
Alisha Persaud
Alisha Persaud marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
Nitnam.
Nitnam. marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
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NYRB Classics: Songs of Kabir 1 5 Oct 30, 2013 06:34PM  
  • Sadhana
  • The Kabir Book: Forty-Four of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir
  • Mr. Fortune's Maggot
  • Soul of Wood
  • The Selected Poems
  • No Tomorrow
  • The Jokers
  • Memoirs of Hecate County
  • My Fantoms
  • We Think the World of You
  • Adventures of Sindbad
  • Letters, Summer 1926
  • Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature
  • Dante: Poet of the Secular World
  • Conquered City
  • Defeat: Napoleon's Russian Campaign
  • Short Letter, Long Farewell
  • Tirano Banderas
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“You have left Your Beloved and are thinking of others:
and this is why your work is in vain.”
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“The Kazi is searching the words of the Koran, and instructing others:
but if his heart be not steeped in that love, what does it avail, though he be a teacher of men?”
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