Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thanippadal – 57

With mom departs palate; with dad departs learning;
with children departs one’s riches – fine life
departs with kin, strength departs with sibling;
everything departs along with one’s spouse.

தாயோ டறுசுவைபோம் தந்தையொடு கல்விபோம்
சேயோடு தான்பெற்ற செல்வம்போம் – ஆயவாழ்(வு)
உற்றா ருடன்போம் உடற்பிறப்பால் தோள்வலிபோம்
பொற்றாலி யோடெவையும் போம்.

This poem by Avvayar (the 3rd) is about what we lose when we lose people in our life. Mother is one who cares about serving tasty food to you. Father is one from whom we constantly learn. Children are one’s valuable possessions. Kith and kin are needed for fine life. A sibling adds strength. We lose each of these when each one of them departs from our life. Wife embodies all this and more. So when you lose your wife, you loses everything.

With mother goes அறு சுவை – six tastes (sweet, sour, pungent, salt,astringent, bitter). I’ve substituted palate for it.
The word used for wife is பொற்றாலி – பொன் + தாலி meaning Golden bridal chain / Mangalsutra. I used generic spouse to make it easier to understand in English.

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2 thoughts on “Thanippadal – 57

  1. Lalitha on said:

    Doesn’t ‘pottrali’ refer to husband?


  2. Lalitha on said:

    Probably, in today’s context we can interpret ‘pottrali’ as ‘spouse’


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