Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kurunthokai – 107

O’ Rooster with bright red comb
like a bunch of golden kantal* flowers!-
You woke me up from my blissful sleep,
with my man from the town that reaps
new wealth from wide seas;
May you suffer the pain
of being many day’s food to wild kittens
that hunt for house rats at midnight.

*Kantal – Flame lily / Gloriosa lily, the state flower of Tamil Nadu

குவி இணர்த் தோன்றி ஒண் பூ அன்ன
தொகு செந் நெற்றிக் கணம்கொள் சேவல்!-
நள்ளிருள் யாமத்து இல் எலி பார்க்கும்
பிள்ளை வெருகிற்கு அல்குஇரை ஆகி,
கடு நவைப் படீஇயரோ, நீயே-நெடு நீர்
யாணர் ஊரனொடு வதிந்த
ஏம இன் துயில் எடுப்பியோயே!

After a long time he comes back from his trip to earn money, and they both go to bed together. They fall into blissful sleep after a joyous night. With the rooster crowing, the spell of the night is broken. Obviously she curses the rooster. She thinks it couldn’t have dawned so soon. It must be just midnight. The rooster has crowed wrongly. May it be hunted by hungry wild kitten and eaten as food for days.

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2 thoughts on “Kurunthokai – 107

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