Lalla was a spiritual giant of the 14th century AD, in the region north of India which is the source of the greatest meditative traditions of the world. She was a Kashmiri Shaivite and an inspiration to Sufis. Her writing is both intimate and spacious; in one poem she feels ambivalent towards the act of writing, but she continues anyway. The poems, like those of Rumi, are short but very dense in meaning. Although we cannot appreciate the wordplay of the Kashmiri originals, Coleman Barks' versions pay respect to English poetic style and also evoke the simplicity and intensity of Lalla's songs.
The book title refers to the tradition which has Lalla going naked in her youth, after her enlightenment. This is one of the many fascinating stories about her which are apparently still current in Kashmir, Assam, Pakistan and India. Whether or not this one is true, the poems give the feeling that they are sung from an open heart, without dissembling or disguise, and they are surpassingly lovely.
The physical book is small and easy to carry, inexpensive to replace if lost or damaged.