Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thanippadal – Avvayar . 1

Have a couple of flunkeys sing one’s praise;
wear myriad rings in fingers; don an apparel
of silk or cotton ; then, his art will be acclaimed,
even if toxic or bitter.

விரகர் இருவர் புகழ்ந்திட வேண்டும்
விரல்நிறை மோதிரங்கள் வேண்டும் – அரையதனில்
பஞ்சேனும் பட்டேனும் வேண்டும் அவர்வித்தை
நஞ்சேனும் வேம்பேனும் நன்று.

This poem by Avvayar (12th Century) shows how the world values style over substance. If one has a couple of flunkeys to sing his praise, adorn his fingers with many rings, and dons a rich attire made of silk or cotton then the world will laud him even if his skill is no good.

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