Theragāthā | Poems of the Elder Monks

Because the poems are attributed to a wide variety of authors, it should come as no surprise that they differ widely in style, content, and artistic interest: Thus the choice to present an anthology of selected poems rather than a complete translation of either text. Some of the poems are autobiographical; some didactic. Some repeat verses attributed to the Buddha in other parts of the Canon, whereas others appear to be original compositions. Some are very simple and just barely poetic, whereas others are polished and artful, composed by people who obviously had a sophisticated literary background.