Scratch A Rock

Posted in Uncategorized by Bharat Iyer on June 12, 2011

I don’t know anything like time-beats and metre

nor the arithmetic of strings and drums;

I don’t know the count of iamb and dactyl.

My lord of the meeting rivers,

as nothing will hurt you

I’ll sing as I love.

– Basavanna vacana 494 from Speaking of Siva translated and compiled by A. K. Ramanujan

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2 Responses

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  1. I don't know anything either said, on June 13, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Why is it no longer Under Construction?

    How long ago was this written? Coz I’d interested in knowing how old the dactyl and iamb are. Surely they were in use before the Elizabethan era? Or are they modern concepts, reflected in a modern translation?

    • Bharat Iyer said, on June 13, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Must there be a reason?

      This was written somewhere in Karnataka around the 11th or 12th century AD. I’m going to quote Ramanujan’s end note here: Iamb and dactyl are here used as loose English equivalents for the Kannada amrtagana and devagana kinds of metrical unit.


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