Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kambaramayanam – 4279

Dazzling gem like colourful bees swarm and adorn
The beautiful Red Flame Lily that sheds honey and wilts;
It’s like Lady Earth folding her fingers in wonder
At how monsoon has conquered the summer.

நாநிறச் சுரும்பும் வண்டு நவமணி யணியிற் சாரத்
தேனுக மலர்ந்து சாய்ந்த சேயிதழ்க் காந்தட் செம்பூ
வேனிலை வென்ற தம்மா காரென வியந்து நோக்கி
மாநிலக் கிழத்தி கைகள் மறித்தன போன்ற மன்னோ

It is monsoon season and red coloured flame lily flower has bloomed. Flame Lily (Gloriosa Superba) is generally used as a simile for long fingers of a girl. Multiple coloured beetles and bees swarm about it, looking like gem adorned jewellery on a girl’s hands. As they suck the honey from the flower, the petals wilt and the flower folds in. It is like Lady Earth looking at change of season,  wondering  how monsoon has won over summer and folding her fingers.

This verse is part of Kishkinta Kandam , after the slaying of Vali and coronation of Sugriva.

நாநிற – நால் + நிற – multiple coloured
சுரும்பு , வண்டு – bee
நவமணி – nine gems
அணி – adorn
சார – swarm
தேன் – honey
உக – overflow
சேயிதழ் – beautiful petal
காந்தள் – Flame Lily / Gloriosa Superba
செம்பூ – Red Flower
வேனில் – Summer
கார் – monsoon / rainy season
வியந்து – wonder
மாநிலம் – Majestic Earth
கிழத்தி – Woman
மறித்தன – Fold

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3 thoughts on “Kambaramayanam – 4279

  1. Oh beautiful.
    One can very much SEE the kaanthaL droop and sway in the rain.
    And what an analogy.

    It is also sudden transition in mood in the Epic, right? From the scene of the Vaali ‘assassination’ there is a break due to the chatter-maasya-viradham. To some extent the poems around here set the tone for that.


    • Yeah, sudden surprise change. Like a duet song after a fight in Tamil movies. We haven’t changed much from தேரெழுந்தூரார் times.

      The analogy is what held me. I read the poem out loud to my family and was extolling the beauty of it. And got ‘Oh here you go again’ looks in return


  2. Pingback: Unfine fingers – Alagu Writes

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