Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Aka Naanooru – 278

Large clouds scoop up water from the eastern sea,
swell like massive elephants of ruler’s noisy army,
move to the right accompanied by lightning
that splits the sky – like a flag rising up a pole –
and thunder that roars noisily,
and encircle the peaks at midnight;
so the silvery waterfalls will swell tomorrow,
flow down forcefully, breaking large bamboo stalks,
knocking down chestnut trees, and arrive
at the vast expanse of our town’s river front;
to make our pale eyes redden,
and to get rid of our midnight’s agony
shall we take a dip in those waters
that cascades from his beautiful hills,
he who made our body lose its gem like shine
and caused us incurable grief?

குண கடல் முகந்த கொள்ளை வானம்
பணை கெழு வேந்தர் பல் படைத் தானைத்
தோல் நிரைத்தனைய ஆகி, வலன் ஏர்பு,
கோல் நிமிர் கொடியின் வசி பட மின்னி,
உரும் உரறு அதிர் குரல் தலைஇ, பானாள்,
பெரு மலை மீமிசை முற்றினஆயின்,
வாள் இலங்கு அருவி தாஅய், நாளை,
இரு வெதிர் அம் கழை ஒசியத் தீண்டி
வருவதுமாதோ, வண் பரி உந்தி,
நனி பெரும் பரப்பின் நம் ஊர் முன்துறை;
பனி பொரு மழைக் கண் சிவப்ப, பானாள்
முனி படர் அகல மூழ்குவம்கொல
மணி மருள் மேனி ஆய்நலம் தொலைய,
தணிவு அருந் துயரம் செய்தோன்
அணி கிளர் நெடு வரை ஆடிய நீரே?

Aka Naanooru (Four hundred poems of Akam, the interior landscape) is part of the eight anthologies that make up Sangam literature. The poems are about love and separation. These poems are longer than other anthologies in the Eight Anthologies.

She lives in plains. He lives in the hills. They have fallen in love and he meets her at night. But today he hasn’t turned up. It is the rainy season. She looks are dark clouds moving towards the hills. She says to her friend, “Look at these clouds. They scoop up water from the eastern sea (Bay of Bengal in current terminology) and look like huge elephants in the Kings army. They are moving towards the right side accompanied by lightning and thunder. They will reach the hills and pour down. This will cause the silvery water falls in the hills to swell and the water will rush to our town tomorrow. On its way it will break down green bamboo stalks and Indian chestnut trees. The waters flow from his hills, he who has caused us so much grief and made our body lose it’s shine. Shall we go and take a dip in those fresh waters tomorrow, so that our pale eyes redden and we can get rid of our midnight’s agony?”

She implies even if I can’t get to embrace him, let me immerse myself in the water that has embraced his hills. At least that will reduce my grief.

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2 thoughts on “Aka Naanooru – 278

  1. Great song. Beautifully translated.

    Like

  2. இது போல் இக்காலப் புலவர்களால் பாட முடியுமா?

    Like

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