The Death of the Goddess

Posted by on 4 01 17 in Reviews | 3 comments

Knowing my interest in Indian literature, Professor Hogan has kindly sent me a copy of his long poem entitled The Death of the Goddess. (1) The author’s Preface explains why the poem was written – it’s had a long gestation – and an Introduction by Rachell Fell McDermont provides an apt summary of the story and its themes. Let me first say something about the style. As can be seen below, the verse is clear, exact and made more compelling by its neutral tone. It doesn’t rise to commanding heights, or exult in memorable phrases, but doesn’t have to. Here is one of the more scatological sections (Shiva is speaking about a woman encountered on the battlefield, unnamed but possibly a Kali-like incarnation of Little Mother: canto 9): She had stripped off the outer breast-plate and leggings of her...

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