All I Was Doing Was Breathing Essay

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Bryan Aubrey holds a PhD in English and has published many articles on contemporary poetry. In this essay, he discusses Mirabai's poetry in the context of the bhakti tradition, as exemplified in the teachings of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.

In the fifty adaptations by Robert Bly and Jane Hirshfield that appear in their book Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems, it is as if Mirabai's poetry attains a new lease on life. “All I Was Doing Was Breathing,” titled with such subtle resonance by Bly, makes previous English versions of this poem seem flat by comparison. Bly's adaptation is a free one, and indeed the poems are described as “versions” of Mirabai rather than translations. As John Stratton Hawley points out in his afterword to the book, the word energy, which Bly employs twice in different contexts in this poem, does not appear in the original. But, he says...

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This section contains 1,587 words
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Buy the All I Was Doing Was Breathing Study Guide
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