Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh, the Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies, has written extensively of her great affection for her homeland, the Punjab. In this anthology she translates a thousand years of poetry from the Punjab, including work drawn from a region rent by linguistic divisions as its religions and cultures separated. “This anthology brings them together again,” Singh writes.
The collection covers the spectrum of writers from the first Punjabi poet (Sheik Farid, 1175-1265) to feminist author Amrita Pritam: “The ink in my pen is drying up/Words from my lips are dying out;/The question raised by your death,/Can only be answered by tears.”
Those works and the others that link them in Singh’s book show the region’s character and language. The book, says one reviewer, “is a most unusual combination of extraordinary beauty and great scholarly importance.”