Giramondo $24 pb, 76 pp
Seeking perfection or ‘enlightenment’ requires a monastic devotion to the life of the spirit and a rejection of material comforts. Judith Beveridge’s writings about the young Buddha and his cousin Devadatta bring out all the intricacies and contradictions inherent in such a quest.
This new volume, Devadatta’s Poems, holds up a kind of mirror to ‘Between the Palace and the Bodhi Tree’, the middle section of her book Wolf Notes (2003), which depicted Siddhārtha Gautama’s travels and contemplations before he became the Buddha. The earlier work is marked by its quiet determination, matching Siddhārtha’s, to look precisely, without wanting, and to be simply an existence among all the others.