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These are two translations of the same poem:

Dance, Lalla, with nothing on

but air. Sing, Lalla,

wearing the sky.

Look at this glowing day! What clothes

could be so beautiful, or

more sacred?   

Barks, Coleman. Naked Song. Lalla. Athens, GA: Maypop, (1992)


Dance then, Lalla, clothed but by the

Sing, thou, Lalla, clad but in the sky.

Air and sky: what garment is more fair?

Dance then Lalla, clothed by the air;

Sing then Lalla, clad but by the sky.

Air and sky; what garmant is more fair?

‘Cloth’, saith custom; ’ doth that

Temple, Sir Richard Carnac. The
words of Lalla, The Prophetess: Being the sayings of Lal Ded or Lal
Diddhi of Kashmir
. Cambridge University Press (1924)


Lalleshwari (1320–1392) was a female mystic of the Kashmiri Shaivite sect. She was a creator of the mystic poetry called vatsun or Vakhs, literally “divine speech.”  As a child she was married at the age of 12 into a family that was reported to have regularly mistreated her. After becoming a disciple of Sidh Srikanth, she renounced her material life and marriage to become a devotee of the god Shiva. As a mystic, she wandered naked, reciting her proverbs and quatrain-based poems. Her verses are the earliest compositions in the Kashmiri language and are an important part in history of Kashmiri literature.