[Editor’s Note: the following poem will appear in Ms Canan’s forthcoming collection, Ardor: Poems of Life (Pilgrim’s Press).]
Narrow stream of the foothills, you are all
that remains of the magnificent impetuous Saraswati
that flowed from Himalayan peaks
across the plains to the sea, on whose banks
a great civilization grew that worshipped feminine
as well as masculine — a goddess of a river
that produced a mighty stream of knowledge,
language, learning, art and grace.
Oh sublime Goddess still revered today —
with your book and lute, water jug and white dress —
subtle Goddess we can never forget,
for we adore you above all others
for the joy that courses through our daily lives,
thanks, oh Goddess, oh Beauty, to you!
[From poet Janine Canan have come the award-winning collections Messages from Amma: In the Language of the Heart and She Rises like the Sun: Invocations of the Goddess by Contemporary American Women Poets; translations of the French poet Francis Jammes and German-Jewish poet Else Lasker-Schueler; two illustrated storybooks, Journeys with Justine and Walk Now in Beauty: The Legend of Changing Woman; her collected essays, Goddesses Goddesses; and many books of poetry including Ardor: Poems of Life, Changing Woman, a Small Press Review selection, and Of Your Seed, recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.
Janine lives in California’s Valley of the Moon, where she is a practitioner of holistic psychiatry, graduate of New York University School of Medicine and Stanford cum laude, and a follower of the Indian saint and humanitarian Mata Amritanandamayi. Please visit her site for more information.]