Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Inna Narpathu – 3

To live under a murderous tyrant is misery;
to cross an ocean without a raft is misery;
friendship of the acid-tongued is a misery;
misery it is, to live a life of worry.

கொடுங் கோல் மற மன்னர் கீழ் வாழ்தல் இன்னா;
நெடுநீர் புணை இன்றி நீந்துதல் இன்னா;
கடு மொழியாளர் தொடர்பு இன்னா; இன்னா,
தடுமாறி வாழ்தல் உயிர்க்கு.

Inna Narpathu (40 poems about grief/misery) is a collection of  40 poems written by poet Kapilar (different from Kapilar of Sangam era) around 4th Century AD. Each poem lists out four thoughts on what causes grief. These are advisory in nature.

Second line of this poem can also be read as “To cross this ocean of life without support is a misery”.

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