Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Archive for the month “March, 2018”

Thirukkural – 1260

Is it possible for those whose heart melts like lard placed on fire –
To say we’ll feign anger when our lover gets intimate?

நிணம் தீயில் இட்டன்ன நெஞ்சினார்க்கு உண்டோ-
புணர்ந்து ஊடி நிற்பேம் எனல்?

She’s angry with him, but when he gets intimate she can’t help mellowing down. Though she wants to feign anger, it is impossible for her as her heart melts like fat placed on fire.

நிணம் – fat /lard
புணர்தல் – get close / intimate
ஊடல் – tiff

Thirukkural – 611

Thinking task at hand is hard, one shouldn’t give up;
Untiring effort will give the strength needed.

அருமை உடைத்து என்று அசாவாமை வேண்டும்;
பெருமை முயற்சி தரும்.

One shouldn’t give into inactivity thinking that the task at hand is hard to do. The efforts put in will give the strength needed to complete the job.

There’s an ambiguity in the second line. If you read பெருமை as power / might , then ‘effort put in will give the strength needed’. If you read பெருமை as Laurel, then ‘effort put in will bring laurels’.

அருமை – difficulty
அசா‌ – idleness, lethargy
பெருமை – strength

Kurunthokai – 383

When she hesitates to elope, her friend says:

Since you agreed, I passed on the message,
to him, the lord from the hills;
he waits at the place we chose;
Now you say “Let today pass by”;
My limbs are tired and weary;
Other than to flutter
like a tender shoot amidst fire,
there’s nothing else I can do.

நீ உடம்படுதலின், யான் தர, வந்து,
குறி நின்றனனே, குன்ற நாடன்;
”இன்றை அளவைச் சென்றைக்க என்றி;
கையும் காலும் ஓய்வன ஒடுங்கத்
தீ உறு தளிரின் நடுங்கி,
யாவதும், இலை, யான் செயற்கு உரியதுவே.

She has decided to elope with him and has sent him message through her friend. They have fixed a point to meet. Now at the last minute, she is having second thoughts and is jittery. Her natural shyness is holding her back. She says to her friend, “Let today pass. I will go tomorrow”. Her friend knows that she needs a push to act upon her decision. So she says, “I am tired, my hands and legs are weary . I tremble like a tender shoot amidst fire. There is nothing I can do”, implying she can’t go and tell him of the change in plans.

குறி – குறிப்பிட்ட இடம் – chosen place
குன்ற நாடன் – man from the hill country
தீ உறு தளிர் – tender shoot in middle of fire
இலை – இல்லை – nothing

Thirukkural – 191

One who utters drivel to anger learned men,
will be mocked by every one.

பல்லார் முனியப் பயன் இல சொல்லுவான்
எல்லாரும் எள்ளப்படும். 

Thiruvalluvar advises one to not talk rubbish. While this angers wise men in the community, he will be mocked and derided by all.

பல்லார் – learned men (in this context)
முனிதல் – to anger
பயன் இல – useless
எள்ளல் – reproached / mocked

Post Navigation