Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kamba Ramayanam – 56

Dark buffaloes glistening with water droplets
amble like rain clouds that have descended on earth;
As they think of their calves left behind in cowsheds,
their soft udders gush forth, in which flourish the grains.

ஈர நீர் படிந்து இந் நிலத்தே சில
கார்கள் என்ன வரும் கருமேதிகள்
ஊரில் நின்ற கன்று உள்ளிட மென்முலை
தாரை கொள்ளத் தழைப்பன சாலியே.

This is from Kamba Ramayanam, about Kosala country’s wealth. Dark buffaloes wander in paddy fields. Water droplets glisten in their dark bodies. They look like rain clouds pregnant with water, moving around. The buffaloes think of their calves left behind in cow sheds in town. As they think of their calves, their soft udders gush forth with milk like sheets of rain. Grains in the paddy fields are nourished by this flowing milk. Kosala country is so rich that grains grow in milk, not in water.

நிலம் – earth
கார் – கார் மேகம் – rain clouds
கரு மேதிகள் – dark buffaloes
ஊர் – village (cow sheds)
உள்ளிட – நினைத்திட – as they think
மென் முலை – soft udder
தாரை – sheets (of rain)
தழைப்பன – flourish
சாலி – grains

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