Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Pazhamozhi 400 – 236

To help a friend overcome adversity,
words, though heartfelt, are not enough;
My lord, roiling waves bring water to your shores!-
A pond does not get filled by dew drops.

இனியாரை உற்ற இடர் தீர் உபாயம்
முனியார் செயினும், மொழியால் முடியா;-
துனியால் திரை உலாம் நூங்கு நீர்ச் சேர்ப்ப!-
பனியால் குளம் நிறைதல் இல்.

Pazha Mozhi Naanooru ( 400 Old Sayings) is one of the 18 post Sangam anthologies. Each verse explains a proverb.

In this verse, the poet says actions speak louder than words. When a friend is facing adversity, one should help him by trying to remove the obstacle. Just offering words of empathy is of no use, even though it might be heart felt. Proverb here is A pond does not get filled by dew drops – பனியால் குளம் நிறைதல் இல்.

He describes the King as one whose shores are lashed by huge agitated waves. It might hint that only large waves (action) bring in water  (relief). Dew drops (consoling words) cannot fill the pond.

இனியார் – friend
உற்ற – faced
இடர் – difficulty / adversity
உபாயம் – plan
முனியார் – முனியாதவர் – without anger / heartfelt
செயினும் – even if done
துனி – angry / roiling
திரை – wave
உலாம் – உலாவும் – roam
நூங்கு – large quantity
நீர் – water
பனி – dew drop

 

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