Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kambaramayanam – 1070

As they cause red lips to pale, mouth to drool,
knots on bodice and skirt to unravel,
swaying hair to unbraid, and a smirk to arise –
copulating husband and intoxicating toddy are alike.

இலவு இதழ் துவர் விட. எயிறு தேன் உக.
முலை மிசை. கச்சொடு கலையும் மூட்டு அற.
அலை குழல் சோர்தர. அசதி ஆடலால்.
கலவி செய் கொழுநரும் கள்ளும் ஒத்தவே.

This poem is in Revelry chapter (உண்டாட்டுப் படலம்) in Kamba Ramayanam written in 12th century. These set of poems detail the drunken revelry of women who accompanied Dasaratha as he went to Mithila for the wedding of his son Rama.

Kamban equates copulation and drinking as both make lips go pale, mouth drool, clothes to loosen, plaited hair to come undone and a silly smile to appear.

‘இலவு இதழ்’ – Lips like the petals of Java Cotton / Ceiba tree. In Tamil it is இலவம் பஞ்சு மரம்.

Flordepaineiraabelha

Source: Wikipedia images

‘Intoxicating’ is not explicit in the original. I have added it for better readability.

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