Year published :February 2024

Pages :176 pp.

Size :14x21 cm.

Tables :2 tables, 8 figures, 4 maps

ISBN: 9786162152078

Nirat Hariphunchai & Ocean Lament: Two classic Thai poems of love, loss, and landscape

by Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit

นิราศหริภุญชัย และ กำสรวลสมุทร

Translated and introduced by Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit

These two poems of love, loss, and landscape, translated into English for the first time, are among Thai literature’s earliest and most celebrated works, dating from around 1500 CE. In Nirat hariphunchai, the author makes a pilgrimage to the great Buddhist reliquary at Lamphun to show his devotion to a lover and his religion. In Ocean Lament, the author flees from Ayutthaya for reasons unknown and travels down the Chaophraya River, marveling at the landscape and howling in physical distress over a lover left behind. Both works are celebrated for their emotional intensity and inventiveness in their expression. They are recognized as pioneers of the nirat, the most distinctive genre in later Thai poetry.

The award-winning translators have deciphered the meaning from the notoriously tricky language in the original and conveyed the strong emotions and vivid expressions. In their Afterwords, they explain the histories of each poem and the controversies surrounding them and describe retracing the journey of Nirat hariphunchai on its 505th anniversary.

About the Translators

Chris Baker is a historian and long-time resident of Thailand. Pasuk Phongpaichit is an emeritus professor of economics at Chulalongkorn University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Thailand. Together, they have written widely on Thailand's history and politics.



Note on Translation

Nirat Haripunchai

Ocean Lament


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