The world of poetry is thick with signs

Something I translated from the Kāvyadarpaṇa—

The luster of the young woman’s (taruṇī) face completely darkens instantly,

again and again (muhuḥ) glancing towards the young man (taruṇa) of the village,

his hand holding a sprig of fresh vañjula flowers.

By saying “the young man of the village,” it is suggested that he is the only young man in the village, and therefore hard to get in that he is the lover of many.  Saying young [in the case of the man] (taruṇa) suggests he is skilled in the arts of love, and [in the case of the woman] saying young (taruṇī) suggests she is longing for lovemaking. [The compound] beginning with “his hand holding a sprig” suggests an uddīpanavibhāva.  Showing that it is possible to grab the blossoms with his hands suggests the suitability of the base of the vañjula plant for uninhibited sexual enjoyment, since the vañjula boughs touch the surface of the ground.  By the word “glancing,” which is conjugated in the present tense, it is understood that her face darkens the moment she sees him.  [This is the figure] atiśayokti.  By the word again and again (muhuḥ) both her eagerness and her looking only at intervals because she is frightened of people [who might observe] is suggested.  The word “completely” suggests the severity of her offence [to him], the word “dark” shows the external manifestation (anubhāva) [of her frustrated love].  Here in this verse the offending behavior of the heroine is the suggested sense: “I made a assignation with him in the vañjula bower, but did not go.  Still he went there and brought a vyañjula bouquet to indicate that he went and came again so that I would realize it.  Alas! my offence!”  And that [suggested sense] does not cause aesthetic relish, because it destroys the rasa.  On the other hand, the primary sense does cause aesthetic relish, because it has the capacity to suggest frustrated love (here: vipralambhaśṛṅgāra).


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