The Peacock's Egg
Love Poems from Ancient India

This beautiful collections of poems from the Classical Sanskrit (500 BC - 1000 AD) results from a long collaboration between Sanskrit scholar J. Moussaieff Masson and the Pulitzer prize winning poet W.S. Merwin. In this selection the translators have concentrated on poems outside the traditional conservative canon of Sanskrit literature, offering many poems never before translated into English. Each poem is accompanied by a transliteration from the original Sanskrit together with brief notes.

The result is a memorable book of poems and an important scholarly contribution to the study of Sanskrit literature.

What Others Have Said

“These poems have the laudable shamelessness of frank eroticism. Merwin as a translator has always had a commendable sense of measure in re-creating foreign poems into American, and he is at his best in this book.”

– The Hudson Review

“Again and again, this book gives us very fine specimen texts, good both as poems by Merwin, and as contributions that are more voluptuous than anything we have previously seen in our American poetry. These translations remind us how rarely American poetry has had the courage to permit great happiness to flourish simply and without restraint. Throughout, these poems are delicate, sensuous and focused, and have a striking contemporary feeling.”

– Parabola