Now Stephen Batchelor, himself a former monk, has newly translated "Versesfrom the Center." The translation is accompanied by an engaging essayanalyzing the significance of the poem in the development of Buddhistteachings. Batchelor's goal throughout was to treat Nagarjuna's bookprimarily as a poem, rather than a work of philosophy. There may have beensome shortcomings to this approach. At times the translation seems a bittoo much like modern blank verse, and one wonders just what importantelements of the original are simply lost; Batchelor claims that his"Nagarjunian voice" was influenced by writers "as diverse as John Keats,T.S. Eliot and John Lennon." Still, there are many passages of stunningloveliness in "Verses from the Center." Readers interested in Buddhism willcertainly find much of interest here, in the poetry itself, the historicalinformation, and in Batchelor's engaging exegesis.