Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thirukkural – 1261

Noting the days of his absence, fingers are worn out;
losing their shine, eyes too have dimmed.

வாள் அற்றுப் புற்கென்ற, கண்ணும்; அவர் சென்ற
நாள் ஒற்றித் தேய்ந்த, விரல்.

He has gone away a long time. She has kept count of the days of his absence by noting it on the wall. Counting those again and again, her fingers have worn out. Her eyes too have lost their shine and have dimmed.

In the original verse, ‘eyes too have dimmed’ comes first and ‘worn out fingers’ next. The use of உம் (கண்ணும்) means ‘(eyes) too’. In English using ‘too’ first reads oddly. Hence I have transposed the lines in the translation. Also ‘the wall’ isn’t explicit but implied in ‘ஒற்றி’ – touch.

வாள் – brightness / shine
அற்று – losing
புற்கென்ற – புல்லியவாயின – became dim
ஒற்றி – touch (count marks on the wall)

 

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