(I Do Not Call It His Sign)

I do not call it his sign,
I do not call it becoming one with his sign.
I do not call it union.
I do not call it harmony with union.
I do not say something has happened,
I do not say nothing has happened.
I will not name it You,
I will not name it I.
Now that the White Jasmine Lord is myself,
What use for words at all?

Note: The poem above was written by Mahadeviyakka, a Kannada poet who lived in the 12th century. From the age of ten she was a disciple of Shiva and choose the path of Oneness. She was forced to marry a local ruler, but left him to once again take up the life of an ecstatic. In her poems she refers to Shiva as her White Jasmine Lord. She died in her twenties. This poem was translated by Jane Hirshfield in, "Women in Praise of the Sacred."


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