Monday, December 8, 2008

An Ancient Tamil Poem

9 December 2008

Recent episodes of violence and despair in India moved me to reflect on what i feel, what others feel in these times. Then the question came up, "How did my ancestors feel in such situations?"

I began to re-read a poetry related book by George Hart (he is a Professor of Tamil Studies in Berkeley, California) and found an apt poetry from ancient times in a Tamil kingdom.

A warrior's grief during the monsoon is captured very eloquently in this poem.

The rattling royal drum sounds in the morning
and the King, fierce in his wrath
has begun the business of war.
On soft lowlands jasmine flowers blossom
and the monsoon has begun
with pattering drops from seething clouds.
And I,
every time I think of her
whose hair is thick
have begun sleepless confusion.

(Ainkurunuru 448)

From The Poems of Ancient Tamil by George Hart.


Anonymous said...

i am happy you gave me the option to read a Tamil poem, as i don't think i will ever speak this language.
in a way i feel it is imposiable to translate poetry. but in any case i have enjoyed reading it.

moon said...

thanks utopianfragments,

yes, you are right about translating poetry. i feel sometimes like trying to capture the milkyway using a telescope.


super007 said...

Nice blog about tamil poem . keep it up
Tamil Astrology