Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thiruppavai – 15

“Hey, young parrot! Are you still asleep?”
“Cut down your chit-chat girls! I will join you now”
“Oh’ smart one! We know your sharp words and nimble tongue well”
“You girls are the smart ones! But if you insist, let it be me”
“Wake up and get ready soon! What else holds you in thrall?”
“Is every one here?” “All of us are here, come out and count;
He who killed the mighty tusker shaped demon,
He who destroys the strength of his enemies,
come out and sing the praise of that magician, my friend!”

எல்லே இளம்கிளியே இன்னம் உறங்குதியோ
சில்என்று அழையேன்மின் நங்கையீர் போதருகின்றேன்
வல்லைஉன் கட்டுரைகள் பண்டேஉன் வாய்அறிதும்
வல்லீர்கள் நீங்களே நானேதான் ஆயிடுக
ஒல்லைநீ போதாய் உனக்கென்ன வேறுடையை
எல்லாரும் போந்தாரோ போந்தார்போந்து எண்ணிக்கொள்
வல்ஆனை கொன்றானை மாற்றாரை மாற்றழிக்க
வல்லானை மாயனைப் பாடேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

Another girl is still asleep when her friends call her to join them. The girls mock her “Are you till asleep, you pretty parrot like young girl?”. She replies “Stop yakking at my doorstep. I am not asleep. I am awake and am getting ready to join you”. The girls know her better. They reply “Oh, smart one. Don’t try to fool us. We have listened to your harsh words earlier also.We won’t be put off by your nimble tongue. Get up”.

She says “You girls are the real smart ones. But if you say that I am smart, let it be me”. They tell her “All that is fine. Get ready quick. What else is holding you in its thrall now?” She is trying to delay getting up. So she asks “Is everyone of our friends here?” They reply “Everyone is here. You come out yourselves and count. Krishna, the magician who killed the elephant shaped demon and is strong to destroy the strengths of his enemies, come let us sing his praise together.”

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