Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Puranaanooru – 248

Pitiable are small white water lilies!
When I was young, they adorned me;
now that my prosperous husband is dead,
their seeds have become food
I eat in this wretched daybreak.

அளியதாமே, சிறு வெள் ஆம்பல்!
இளையமாகத் தழை ஆயினவே;
இனியே, பெரு வளக் கொழுநன் மாய்ந்தென, பொழுது மறுத்து,
இன்னா வைகல் உண்ணும்
அல்லிப் படூஉம் புல் ஆயினவே.

This is a poem about the sadness of a widow. It was the practice in that era for a widow to eschew foods that incite passion and eat bland food. The lily flower seeds were cooked like grain and eaten. Also she has to eat early in the morning. So she feels wretched for herself, but transfers that to the lily flower. The lily flower which adorned her when she was young is now used as her food. Poor lily flowers. They were her companions when she was happy and now when she is sad too. She transfers her self pity to the lilies.

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One thought on “Puranaanooru – 248

  1. Sabhanayagam Nadesan on said:

    On literature used examples are always very good and easily understandable. Old is gold.


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