Erotic love is the leitmotif that characterizes two of the best poetry ever produced, the Gitagovinda and Shir Ha-Shirim (Song of Songs).2 As the speech of love, their verses are teeming with manifold cultural tropes, thus contributing to the richness of the cross-cultural study of the languages of love and desire. The SS has been the most quoted biblical book, inspiring a plethora of literature, theology, liturgy, art, and music. It is not surprising that the GG has been claimed as the Indian “Song of Songs.”3 While there are a
number of compelling resemblances between the two poems that are worthy of examination, my aim is to initiate their comparative study with a focus on the role that imagery from the natural world plays in depicting the physical beauty of the lovers and their sexual desire, and the implications of overt and suggestive languages of erotic love in this poetry.
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