Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kurunthokai – 47

Her friend says:

Dark Vengai’s* yellow blossoms strewn on rock 
make it appear as big tiger cub in the forest
he crosses in his secretive night jaunts;
You aren’t helpful, O’ white moon who stays late.

* Vengai Tree – Indian Kino / Malabar Kino tree. Of dark trunks and Yellow flowers.

தோழி கூற்று:

கருங்கால் வேங்கை வீயுகு துறுகல்
இரும்புலிக் குருளையிற் றோன்றுங் காட்டிடை
எல்லி வருநர் களவிற்கு
நல்லை யல்லை நெடுவெண் ணிலவே.

Her friend says to the moon, “You are staying up longer than you normally do. In moonlight, the rocks on which yellow flowers of Vengai tree have fallen look like big tiger cubs (black rock strips visible amidst yellow flowers) and are frightening. He has to cross this forest at night to come and meet my friend. Your staying late isn’t helping anyway. You are unwelcome.” The implied meaning to him is “Don’t take risks crossing the forest in moon light. The towns people may see you. So expedite your marriage proposal to my friend.”

The original poem simply say’s ‘Dark Vengai’s blossoms’. I have added ‘yellow’ to make it easier to understand.

vengai

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