Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Puranaanooru – 82

His pregnant wife needs his assistance;
Village festival too has begun;
Sunlight is fast fading in rainy season;
With all this in mind, sharp needle in the hands
of the lowly cot upholsterer moves swiftly;
Swifter than that moves the golden flower wearing mighty warrior
to fight the enemy who comes to conquer his town.

சாறுதலைக் கொண்டெனப் பெண்ணீற் றுற்றெனப்
பட்ட மாரி ஞான்ற ஞாயிற்றுக்
கட்டி னிணக்கு மிழிசினன் கையது
போழ்தூண் டூசியின் விரைந்தன்று மாதோ
ஊர்கொள வந்த பொருநனொ
டார்புனை தெரிய னெடுந்தகை போரே.

This verse is about the Chola King Porvaikko PeruNarKilli. A local chieftain Aamoor Mallan comes to attack the Chola king’s town. The poet says Killi did not delay going to face his enemy but moved swiftly as if he wanted to finish the job before the sun set. The simile he uses is of the lowly leather worker upholstering a cot. The worker’s wife is pregnant and he needs to be near her to help her. The village festival has begun and he wants to take part in it too. But the job at hand is holding him back. The sun is fading away quickly in the rainy season. If the sun sets, he can’t work further. With all this weighing in his mind, the needle in his hand moves in and out of the leather swiftly as if it has a mind of its own. Even swifter than that moves the Golden yellow flower (the clan flower of Chola Kings) wearing mighty Lord when the enemy is at the gates to conquer his town. He wants to finish him off in a day.

Each of the three Tamil Kings (Chera / Chola / Pandya) had their own clan flowers which they wore as a garland in the battlefield.

சாறு – festival
பெண் – woman (wife)
ஈற்று – pregnant
உற்று – suffering
மாரி – rain
ஞான்று – time of day (Sun set)
ஞாயிறு – sun
கட்டில் – cot
இணக்கு – bind together
இழிசினன் – lowly person (leather worker?)
போழ் – pass through
விரைந்து – swiftly
அன்று – different / more
பொருநன் – enemy combatant
ஆர் – Bauhinia racemosa flower / son patta flower / golden flower
புனை – wearing
நெடுந்தகை – mighty

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3 thoughts on “Puranaanooru – 82

  1. /இழிசினன் – lowly person (leather worker?)/

    பஞ்சாயத்துல தகிரியமா தலையை குடுத்த வீரம் இருக்கே. எல்லாம் அந்த மீசையோட வர்றது.

    தரப்புகள்:

    1) இழிசினன் என்றால் பிறப்பால் இல்லையாக்கும். தொழில் வைத்து தான் இழிவு. (இழிவான தொழிலை பிறப்பு compulsion இல்லாமல் ஏனோ தேர்ந்தெடுத்து செய்தார் சிலர்!)

    2) அப்போதெல்லாம் தொழிலில் கூட இழிவு இல்லையாக்கும். பண்டைத்தமிழகம் கனவு சோசலிச பூமி. (அப்போது ‘இழிசினன்’ என்ற சொல்? அதுக்க்கு சொல்லப்பட்ட விளக்கங்கள் are to be read to be believed.)

    தேடிப் பாருங்க, Happy Weekend.

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    • இது கூடத் தைரியமில்லைன்னா மீசை வளத்து என்ன பயன் :-). கொஞ்சம் உதறலாத் தான் இருந்தது.

      போர்வைக்கோநற்கிள்ளிக்கு இழிசினன் ஊசிய உவமையாக்கியிருக்கோமே, அந்த பின் நவீனத்துவத்த நீங்க ஏன் பாக்கக் கூடாது?

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      • Yeah that’s the argument proffered by தரப்பு 2.
        That the very fact that the worker is the analogy for the king is ‘proof’ that இழிசினன் does not mean lowly as we may think in our current understanding. (But) this is then followed by some typically brave philological flexing!

        An understanding of இழிசினன் as இழிபிறப்பாளன் held sway for quite a while and Prof.George Hart makes some claims about Sangam Society based on that. His theory has since been critiqued as being a tad too light on evidence.

        The venerable Prof. V.S.Rajam wrote a long essay a few years back which was published as a book published by ManaRkENi (foreword by D.Ravikumar). In the book she argues rather rigorously how we ought not to impute latter day meanings to Sangam words; we ought to attempt to interpret them, as far as possible, with அகச்சான்றுகள்.

        இழிசினன் is a word she dwells on at length. And in the end kind of leans towards தரப்பு 1.

        /க்கோமே… நீங்க/
        இப்போ எனக்கு உதறலா இருக்கு !

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