Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Archive for the category “Short Literary works”

Kalingathup Parani

Believing your sleep is real, 
he places his hand  on your foot to massage,
thinking it will be a remedy to your tiff;
Oh women, who still pretend sleep
and not open your sharp eyes, open your doors!

இத்துயில் மெய்த்துயிலே என்றுகு றித்திளைஞோர்
இதுபுல விக்குமருந் தெனமனம் வைத்தடியில்
கைத்தலம் வைத்தலுமே பொய்த்துயில் கூர்நயனக்
கடைதிற வாமடவீர் கடைதிற மின்.

The poet is in town to praise the valor of victorious Chola army in the battle of Kalinga. (1110 CE) He asks the women to open their doors and listen to their men’s valor. In this poem he says “You pretend to be asleep. Your lover thinks it is real and takes your foot in his hand to massage and reconcile over a tiff. Though you love it, you still pretend to be asleep and do not open your eyes. Oh women, open your doors and hear me” Massage is not explicit in the original poem. I have made it explicit for readability.

Kalingathu p Parani is a short literary work (சிற்றிலக்கியம்) written by Poet Jayamkondar in 12th century. It is written in praise of Kulothunga Cholan’s general Karunakara Thondaiman who invaded and conquered Kalinga country (present day Orissa). Poems 21-74 are the bard calling the women of Kanchi (present day Kancheepuram, the town of Karunakara Thondaiman) to open their doors and hear the valor of their hero. These 54 poems are erotically charged. The next chapters of the work are gory descriptions of battle field and the ghosts getting together for a feast of dead bodies.

Parani is a form of poetic work that is sung in praise of a warrior. It is generally named after the battle. Since this about the battle of Kalinga, it is called Kalingathup Parani.

துயில் – sleep
மெய் – true
குறித்து – believing
இளைஞோர் – lover
மனம் வைத்து – thinking
புலவி – tiff / sulk
அடி – foot
கூர் நயனம் – sharp eyes

Kalingathup Parani -69

“He’ll come” you swing it open
“He won’t” you swing it close
You swing it all night
till the hinges erode, Open that door.

வருவார் கொழுநர் எனத்திறந்தும்
வாரார் கொழுநர் எனவடைத்தும்
திருகும் குடுமி விடியளவும்
தேயும் கபாடம் திறமினோ.

A poem from Kalingathu Parani. The poet is asking the women who are angry with their husbands returning from war. “Awaiting him, you swing the door open and close so many times that the hinges erode. Open that door and welcome your victorious husbands”.

Kalingathu p Parani is a short literary work (சிற்றிலக்கியம்) written by Poet Jayamkondar in 12th century. It is written in praise of Kulothunga Cholan’s general Karunakara Thondaiman who invaded and conquered Kalinga country (present day Orissa). Poems 21-74 are the bard calling the women of Kanchi (present day Kancheepuram, the town of Karunakara Thondaiman) to open their doors and hear the valor of their hero. These 54 poems are erotically charged. The next chapters of the work are gory descriptions of battle field and the ghosts getting together for a feast of dead bodies.

Parani is a form of poetic work that is sung in praise of a warrior. It is generally named after the battle. Since this about the battle of Kalinga, it is called Kalingathup Parani.

Siddhar Tenet

He’s in you too, he’s in me too
He’s the formless truth.
Those who realize, won’t wander here
but achieve that state themselves.

உன்னுள்ளும் இருப்பான் என்னுள்ளும் இருப்பான்
உருவம் இல்லா உண்மை அவன்.
இதை உணர்ந்தார் இங்கே உலவுவதில்லை
தானும் அடைவார் அந்நிலை தன்னை.

This is a profound Siddhar poem. I can’t find the who the poet is. This is considered as the basic tenet of Siddhars. I interpret it as God is in you and me. He doesn’t have a specific shape, but he is the Truth. Those who realize this won’t waste time in worldly matters but they too become one with the truth.

I am not sure whether the profundity of Tamil has been achieved in English translation.

Kalingathup Parani – 62

Beads of sweat rolling in crescent like forehead,
chains swinging between bosoms, dark tresses
adorned with flowers disheveling, bangles jingling-
Women who so make love, open your doors.

கூடு மிளம்பிறையிற் குறுவெயர் முத்துருளக்
கொங்கை வடம்புரளச் செங்கழு நீரளகக்
காடு குலைந்தலையக் கைவளை பூசலிடக்
கலவி விடாமடவீர் கடைதிற மின்றிறமின்.

Written by Jeyamkondar in 12th Century, Kalingathup Parani details the victory of Chola army led by Karunakara  Thondaiman over the Kalinga (present day Odisha) kingdom. In the first part of the work, the poet asks women to open their doors to their valorous lovers.

In this poem, he says “women who are generally in a state of dishevel while making love, open your doors”.

Kalingathup Parani – 477

Look, look at these men whose faces glow
as vultures and eagles prey on their body,
like patrons whose smiling faces are aglow
when thronged for food by guests and needy.

விருந்தினரும் வறியவரும் நெருங்கி யுண்ண
மேன்மேலும் முகமலரும் மேலோர் போலப்
பருந்தினமும் கழுகினமும் தாமே யுண்ணப்
பதுமமுகம் மலர்ந்தாரைப் பார்மின் பார்மின்.

Kalingathup Parani is a poem written in 12th century about the exploits of Chola general Karunakara Thondaiman in the Battle of Kalinga (present day Orissa). First part of the long poem has the poet calling women to open their doors and let their victorious lovers into their homes. Next is about the reasons for the battle and battle itself. Final part is about ghouls feasting on dead warriors in the battle field. This part is full of gory and vivid imagery.

Dead bodies of soldiers are strewn across the battlefield. Vultures and eagles are having a veritable feast preying on the bodies. As they crowd and prey on the entrails, it is like a patron feeling happy as he is thronged by guests and the needy for food.

Kalingathup Parani – 22

You who make the strong and sane
lose their balance and go insane,
as your young breasts swell and grow,
Open your locked doors

புடைபட இளமுலை வளர்தொறும்
பொறைஅறி வுடையரும் நிலைதளர்ந்து
இடைபடு வதுபட அருளுவீர்
இடுகதவு உயர்கடை திறமினோ.

In this KalingathuParani poem, the poet asks women to open their doors and let in their warrior husbands who are back from battle. Kalingathu Parani was written in praise of Karunakara Thondaiman, the general of Chola king Kulothungan who decimated the Kalinga army.

Kalingathup Parani – 39

O women who carry twin
lotus buds on the downy
stalk that rises from your navel,
open those dazzling doors!

உந்திச் சுழியின் முளைத்தெழுந்த
உரோமப் பசுந்தாள் ஒன்றில் இரண்டு
அந்திக் கமலங் கொடுவருவீர்
அம்பொற் கபாடம் திறமினோ.

Poet Jayamkondar sings to women to open their doors to hear the exploits of their hero Karunakara Thondaiman in Kalinga (modern day Odisha) war. 54 poems in Kalingathup Parani are erotica. The poems about war and its aftermath are rich in gory detail.

In this poem the poet equates women’s bosom as அந்திக் கமலம் – literally evening lotus. Lotus blooms at night. So in the evening it is a bud about to bloom. The doors are called அம்பொற் கபாடம் – that golden door. For easy readability I have translated it as  dazzling doors.

Kalingathup Parani – 47

O Women! You who disrobe when alone
to savor the sight of your lover’s nail marks
on your breasts, like a pauper eyeing
his sudden fortune, open your doors.

முலைமீது கொழுநர்கைந் நகமேவு குறியை
முன்செல்வ மில்லாத அவர்பெற்ற பொருள்போல்
கலைநீவி யாரேனு மில்லாவி டத்தே
கண்ணுற்று நெஞ்சங்க ளிப்பீர்கள் திறமின்.

The poet asks the women who are resting after a night of passion to open their doors and hear the valor of their hero. A pauper who has suddenly gained a fortune cannot display it publicly. He will hide it but keep looking at it whenever he is alone. Similarly, women have to hide nail marks on their bosom. But whenever they are alone, they steal a glance at the marks that remind them of the pleasures of their night of passion.

Kalingathup Parani – 30

On budding bosom where pearl necklace rests,
Women who wear your entwined lover’s
teeth marks like a coral necklace,
Open your adorned doors.

முத்து வடஞ்சேர் முகிழ்முலைமேல்
முயங்குங் கொழுநர் மணிச்செவ்வாய்
வைத்த பவள வடம்புனைவீர்
மணிப்பொற் கபாடம் திறமினோ.

Kalingathup Parani 30. The poet calls for women,resting after a night of passion, to open their doors to hear the valor of their chief.

Kalingathup Parani – 34

Women, who mistake moonlight
for your garment lost
in coital passion,
open your golden doors.

கலவிக்களியின் மயக்கத்தாற்
கலைபோய் அகலக் கலைமதியின்
நிலவைத் துகிலென் றெடுத்துடுப்பீர்
நீள்பொற் கபாடந் திறமினோ.

The bard calls women to open their doors and hear the valor of Karunakara thondaiman in Kalinga War. This set of poems are erotic in nature. The women in their coital bliss mistake white moon light for the garment they lost while making love.

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