Human Resources Shred Event

Allison Penn-Franklin, HRIS and operations specialist

Human Resources has arranged for MidCon Data Services to bring a shredding truck to campus from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, May 6, in parking lot No. 11 (between Hurd and Main). All files, including personal files from home and work documents, are accepted. 

For more information about compliance, call the Office of the General Counsel . . .  read more

S-DiSC Style Highlight

Fran Petties, director of Talent Development

This month’s DiSC spotlight will shine on the S-style. The purpose of this spotlight is to increase awareness of the differing communication styles and needs that exist across campus and provide tips to promote effective team communication and relationship building which in turn supports a positive university . . .  read more

Retirement Timelines and Deadlines

Katie Saylor, senior benefits specialist

Ready to retire? At the ripe old age of 31, I am. But since that’s not a possibility for me right now, I’m pinning my hopes and dreams on all of the soon-to-be UCO retirees, along with some gentle reminders that deadlines for retirement do exist and they are important. 

Oklahoma Teacher’s Retirement System (OTRS) has inflexible deadlines . . .  read more

Tech Corner: Antivirus Software Updates

Stephanie Edwards, Manager of Web Strategy and IT Communications

Over the next 4 months, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) will be updating the campus antivirus software on all UCO-owned computers. We will be seamlessly replacing Symantec Endpoint Protection with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. This will occur in phases and be coordinated with all UCO techs. Ongoing communications will be targeted to . . .  read more

Faculty Senate Update

Kristi Archuleta, associate professor, Organizational Leadership, Adult Education and Safety Sciences

The UCO Faculty Senate holds meetings the second Thursday of each month. The April meeting was April 8, 2021. Provost Charlotte Simmons was the guest speaker, holding an open session in which the discussion from the February and March meetings about the process of decision-making for open faculty positions in Academic Affairs was continued. 

The . . .  read more

Staff Senate Update

Zachary Hunter, graduate admissions specialist II

The UCO Staff Senate held a meeting Tuesday, April 6, 2021.  The guest speaker was Dr. Charlotte Simmons, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  During the meeting, the Senate passed the following piece of legislation: Resolution Supporting UCO’s AAPI Community. 

2021 staff senator elections occurred during the month of . . .  read more

April New Faculty and Staff

Osekhodion Alli
Residence Hall Director
Housing and Residential Engagement

Kimberly Webb
Administrative Assistant
Engineering and Physics

Brian Gura
Instructional Designer
Center for e-Learning and Connected Environments

Not pictured:
Grant Eckstein
Web Developer – Application Administrator 
Information Technology

May Years of Service

35 Years

Stephanie Driver

30 Years

Linda Winn

26 Years

Craig Beuchaw

21 Years

Carla Supon

20 Years

Cindy Boling
Lisa Harper

17 Years

Mark Zimmerman

16 Years

Robert Helton
Kathy Constien
Flynn King

14 Years

Wiley Simpson
Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar

11 Years

Tracey Romano

10 Years

Susan Haller
Thomas Brockert

9 Years

Carlie Wellington
Dale Reeves

8 Years

Garrett Blevins
Christopher Palmer
Larry Stoverink
Dillon Mcdaniel
Ted Hacker

7 Years

Sean Gausman

6 Years

Rogelio Almeida
Cassidy Minx
Jasmine . . .  read more

Bhāvakadevī

Classical Sanskrit Lyrics

The name for Sanskrit lyric poetry is subhasita meaning “beautifully expressed in language”. Classical Sanskrit Lyrics are identified by their many unique traits and qualities.  These poems, unlike western poetry, are usually impersonal and universal.  Typically, classical Sanskrit poetry is very short.  They consist of only a few verses or lines.  There are two types of poetry that fit this requirement, either a complete text in a short form, or poetry extracted from a longer work that can stand on its own.  Because Sanskrit poetry is meant to be short, the consequence is that it can’t explain everything or give the entire story in detail.  Instead, subhasita’s give the reader just a glimpse of the mood; this is known as rasa. These subhasita’s also make use of indirect suggestions called dhvani instead of providing a direct description.

Despite being short, it is also necessary for a classical Sanskrit poem to be a self contained thought; that is, that the idea or storyline is all wrapped up with no loose ends.  Sanskrit poetry is well crafted in that the poet should use the best words and images and feature many twists of language and figuration called alamkāra.

Bhāvakadevī herself

Bhāvakadevī, also known as Bhāvaka-devī or Bhavadevi, is actually her stage name, however very little is actually known about her real name.  Bhāvakadevī lived and wrote her poetry during the middle of the Classical period of Sanskrit literature.  She was one of the few women poets, as they were rare and elusive during a time when men dominated the poetry world.  More is known about other classical, female Sanskrit poets.  With only two recovered poems, Bhāvakadevī is truly a mystery.

Poem 1

Bhāvakadevī wrote the classical Sanskrit poem, “At first our bodies knew”, also dubbed ‘Bitter Harvest’.  This poem is a good example of a subhasita, a type of Sanskrit poetry, for many reasons.

Bhāvakadevī’s poem contains two phrases, with seven lines in total. This qualifies it as complete text in a short form, which is a subhasita quality.  Her poem is self-contained; it completely explains feelings and the situation they surround.  Yet, because it is a subhasita, and short by nature, it cannot fully display the essence of an emotional state.  There is more depth to the nature of the emotions in this poem.  As a subhasita, we only get a rasa, a snapshot of a mood in one moment in time.  The use of dhvani is also seen in this poem, as Bhāvakadevī gives us only ideas and suggestions of what has happened with her husband, and not a direct description of him cheating on her.  I would argue, however, that in this particular poem, Bhāvakadevī does not write in a universal way- this poem actually seems rather personal.

“At first our bodies knew” is also a well crafted poem, another signifier of classical Sanskrit lyrics.  Strategically placed antonyms and repetition, create a flowing beautiful read.  The first line features the word ‘perfect’, and the last line ‘broken’, which makes the poem appear finished and complete.  The second line features the word ‘grow’ and the penultimate line features the word ‘reap’.  This suggests the seasons of Spring and Fall- that time has passed, and that there is a cycle to their love.  Bhāvakadevī also crafted this poem with repetition in the word ‘I’, which emphasizes her feelings of isolation.

other translations

I have found two other translations of this poem, both with their own differences.  R. Parthasarathy’s translation makes use of the word wretched instead of unhappy.  The final lines have most of the same content, just phrased differently. I like the line “hard to swallow” because it brings more of the fruit/harvest symbolism.  The beginning of the Columbia University version is most clear out of the three translations. The phrase “diamond hard life” is a great ending.  It is interesting that the other two translations call the fruit bitter but this version doesn’t, even with the title “Bitter Harvest”.  If I pieced together my favorite / the most clear lines, It would go like this:

At first our bodies knew a perfect oneness / then grew two when you stopped being the lover, / but I, wretched one, kept on playing the beloved. / Now, you are the husband, I the wife, / a broken pledge is all that’s left / to reap the bitter fruit of my diamond hard life.

Content

All of these translations, although slightly different, give us the same story.  A husband and wife who used to be intertwined in love, have grown apart due to the husband’s infidelity.  She kept on playing her role in the marriage despite that the husband stopped playing his. Assessing the situation- they are still husband and wife, but now with a broken trust between them. Moving forward, She rhetorically questions what is left of her life except to continue in this broken relationship.

 

Poem 2

These are two translations of the second and only other recovered poem by Bhāvakadevī.  ‘Her breasts are brother kings’ does not tell a story like “At first our bodies knew”, but metaphorically compares a woman’s breasts to royalty. This is another good example of a subhasita because of its length. It is one sentence in four lines, and this is roughly half of the length of Bhāvakadevī’s better known poem “At first our bodies knew”.  Like the prior poem, ‘Her breasts are brother kings’ is also qualified as a  complete text in a short form.  It is also self contained, as it raises no questions of ‘what else?’.

In ‘Her breasts are brother kings’, Bhāvakadevī uses dhvani to indirectly describe to the reader a woman’s breasts that are equal in “nobility” and “altitude”.  Bhāvakadevī illustrates this woman’s breasts as having grown strong, after all that they have gone through in life.

We don’t know who the woman in the poem is.  Was it Bhāvakadevī writing about herself?  Or did she have a female lover?  So little is known about Bhāvakadevī, and the nature of a subhasita is that we don’t know the full story, just a rasa.  Whoever this is about, we can infer that Bhāvakadevī thought she was a strong and resilient woman.  Despite being female, the woman in this poem ruled over her own body much like a king rules over his land.

 

Bhāvakadevī

How I wish that more of Bhāvakadevī’s poetry had been recovered.  I’m sure that there is so much more that she had to say.  Based on the two poems that we have of hers, we can identify that she writes sensual poems, maybe not as explicit as some Egyptian Love Poetry, but sensual nonetheless.  Despite the fact that only two poems remain, it is still a great feat that Bhāvakadevī managed to infiltrate the poetry world at a time dominated by men.  It does not go unnoticed that the subject of both of her two poems is the resiliency of women.