One Palace, A Thousand Doorways: Songlines Through Bhakti, Sufi and Baul Oral Traditions by Shabnam Virmani, Vipul Rikhi

Category: Fiction
Publisher: Speaking Tiger
Rights: European and Indian language rights available

A unique book of translations of songs from the oral traditions of Bhakti, Sufi and Baul poetry from India and Pakistan, this book brings together startling juxtapositions from diverse regions and poets. These poems are strung together on the thread of ideas which serve as ‘songlines’ on which we travel – creating lyrical arcs that connect, say, a Kabir to a Lalon to a Shah Latif. We see how shared metaphors or memes – such as the ‘house’, ‘river’ or ‘path’ – resonate in their poetic imaginations.

Pithily-written introductions to each section open up the layers within each idea and connect them to our lives. Relying almost exclusively on largely neglected oral sources of poetry, this book shares hidden gems by Kabir, Lalon Fakir, Bulleshah, Shah Latif and other lesser known voices.