Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Puranaanooru – 245

Vast though my grief is, isn’t it still limited,
if it lacks strength to take my life away?
In this arid land overrun with cacti,
on firewood placed in a clearance,
laid on her flaming funeral bed,
died before me, my woman;
but I still live; what’s the point of this!

யாங்குப் பெரிதுஆயினும், நோய் அளவு எனைத்தே,
உயிர் செகுக்கல்லா மதுகைத்து அன்மையின்?
கள்ளி போகிய களரி மருங்கின்
வெள்ளிடைப் பொத்திய விளை விறகு ஈமத்து,
ஒள் அழல் பள்ளிப் பாயல் சேர்த்தி,
ஞாங்கர் மாய்ந்தனள், மடந்தை;
இன்னும் வாழ்வல்; என் இதன் பண்பே!

Poem written by Chera King Kotambalathu Thunjiya MaakkOthai – literally the Chera King MaakOthai who died in Kotambalam (modern day Ambalapuzha). When his wife dies, he wants to die along with her in the funeral pyre. He was stopped by his courtiers saying that it doesn’t behoove a king to die for his love. This poem was written by him in that grief struck situation.

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