Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Archive for the month “October, 2018”

Thirukkural – 985

Ability of able men is humility; that’s also the tool
of learned men to turn foes to friends.

ஆற்றுவார் ஆற்றல் பணிதல்; அது சான்றோர்
மாற்றாரை மாற்றும் படை.

The real ability of able men is the humility with which they are able to build a team and work together. That humility is also the tool used by wise men to turn their foes into friends.

Friends is not explicit in the original couplet. It literally means ‘convert foes’. I have added the implied meaning to make it easier to read.

ஆற்றல் – prowess / ability
சான்றோர் – learned / wise
மாற்றார் – those who are against us / foes
மாற்றும் – convert / change / turn
படை – கருவி – tool

Ainkurunooru – 238

Even if long horned sturdy ram has deserted it,
short haired ewe still stays back with desire
near the roaring waterfalls in your hills, My lord!
Only when you arrive here,
does her haleness appear too.

வார் கோட்டு வயத் தகர் வாராது மாறினும்,
குரு மயிர்ப் புருவை நசையின் அல்கும்
மாஅல் அருவித் தண் பெருஞ் சிலம்ப!
நீ இவண் வரூஉம்காலை,
மேவரும் மாதோ, இவள் நலனே தெய்யோ!

Her friend tells him how much his lady misses him. She says, “Whenever you come, you find her cheerful and healthy. Do you know that her haleness and cheerfulness makes is presence felt, only when you are here? When you are not here, she weakens and withers away. In your hill country, even after a long horned sturdy goat has deserted it, the female goat still roams around the waterfalls expecting the male to come back. Like that she holds herself together waiting for you. Better marry her soon”

வார் – long
கோடு – horn
வயம் – strong
தகர் – male goat / ram
குரு மயிர் – short hair
புருவை – female goat / ewe
நசை – desire
அல்கும் – stays
மாஅல் அருவி – huge waterfalls
சிலம்ப – சிலம்பு நாட – lord of hill country
இவண் – here
மேவரும் – appear
நலன் – நலம் – healthiness / haleness

 

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