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Songs of Kabir Paperback – January 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books; New Ed edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578632498
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578632497
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,738,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rabindranath Tagore, the much loved Indian poet and philosopher, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. Two years later this translation of the Songs of Kabir was published and introduced these mystical poems to the world outside of India. Now, for the first time.

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Customer Reviews

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Really glad I picked it up.
Author Ronda Del Boccio
[Poem XLVIII] Kabir was, indeed, a free spirit who had discovered the meaning of Love.
Judy Croome
This is a nice collection of verses of the Indian mystic poet Kabir.
Shashikant Nishant Sharma

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 82 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Kabir was born about 1440 (probably), and was a contemporary of the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak (possibly his mentor). A weaver by trade, and a mystic by nature, his spiritual vision accepted no division between Life and Creator, man and God, as evinced by the following excerpts; "I Laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty: You do not see that the Real is in your home, and you wander...listlessly! Here is the truth! Go where you will...if you do not find your soul, the world is unreal to you." and ..."Kabir says, God is the breath of all breath". Many of these songs contain criticism, not of "worldly" people who lived materialistically, but of renunciates who sought God outside of life and relationships; "The infinite dwelling of the Infinite Being is everywhere: in earth, water, sky, and air...He who is within is without; I see Him and none else". This translation by Tagore also contains allusions to Kabirs' cosmology and essential spiritual practice (absorbtion into the Divine Word or creative power) missing in the naturalistic and minimalistic interpretatations of Robert Bly. The poems, or songs, themselves are remarkably fresh, as if they contained the living inspiration which gave them form, and remain, as it were, untouched by time.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By otterwoman on January 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I first found this book when I was young, 16, and exploring religion in my heart. These poems spoke to me. The relationship with god that is described in the poems is the one I wanted for myself. I have since read other versions of Kabir and many poems by Tagore, but this book remains my one and truest "Bible," which I always have closeby, and read in times of trouble or gladness. Whenever I read these poems I feel at peace and at one with my heart. I can't recommend these beautiful poems highly enough.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
Tagore wrote these translations a century ago. The language is often stilted or archaic.

However, I sense that these translations may be truer to the original than Robert Bly's. Indeed, reading these helped me to understand that some language that I thought was Kabir's was actually Bly's. For instance, I was always impressed with the line in Bly's translation that refers to a place "where those who live are not afraid to die."

But in Tagore's translation, that same reference was something to the effect of a place where there is no fear of death. The contrast between the living and the dead was not Kabir's but Bly's.

If I could only read one translation I would read Bly's. But why read only one?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Smith VINE VOICE on July 25, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the songs of kabir, which were translated in this edition < 100 years ago, is an inspiring, uplifting, loving, divine product. i am not a professional translator, thus, i am not able to comment on the accuracy of the translated product, other than to say that the final product is beautiful and seems to capture the essence of the man of whom i've read about. while this is a relatively short read, i've preferred to visit it daily, reading a page or two or three. it seems that when i read such a book that way, i am better able to understand the next piece. now free on amazon kindle, i strongly recommend this to all readers with an interest in self development, mysticism, and sufi thought. this certainly merits an "A".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Judy Croome on June 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 itself and the songs.

But it's in the ecstasy of Kabir's spiritual experiences as he struggles to share his transcendent experience of the Divine that make this book so excellent. As do the Psalms of King David, Kabir's works range across human emotions, from the depths of despair to the heights of an overwhelming love.

Kabir's faith and love of a Divine Being he experienced personally, in his ordinary life as a weaver, could not be boxed by traditional religions, and his impatience with rituals and rules that increase the distance between man and the Divine is clear ("...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? The Yogi dyes his garments with red: but if he knows naught of that colour of love, what does it avail though his garments be tinted?..." [Poem LIV]

The real heart of these poems - what speaks most clearly to the reader across the centuries - is Kabir's passion and adoration of the Divine Presence in his daily life. Not for this mystic the lonely mountaintop and isolation from the real world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Happy Turtle on January 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To be able to read the words of a religious thinker from the 15th century is incredible! My suggestion is to initially skip the introduction, which is quite lengthy, and jump right into the verses. Then return later and read about Kabir's life as it is believed to have been. It takes a little practice to be able to flow with his style, but don't give up, set it aside for awhile and let your mind ruminate on the words, then return to the verses. I was amazed at his ability to 'see' God, Beloved, etc. in all facets of the world around him. And to understand at a deeper level than most people that everything from Him and about Him is love. I thank the people that are responsible for making writings such as this available and affordable to the everyday reader.
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