Monday, April 7, 2014

Poem Ainkurunooru 25 from the Eight Anthologies

'Ettuththokai' meaning the Eight anthologies is a collection of poems from ancient Tami literature or the Sangam Literature. The lifestyle of the people was dependent on the nature of the landforms. Hence the poems are also categorized into five landforms typically called as five 'thinai's. Those are kurinji, mullai, marutham, neithal and paalai. Kurinji refers to the mountains and adjoining lands. Mullai refers to the forests and adjoining lands. Marutham refers to the plains and adjoining lands. Neithal refers to the sea and adjoining lands. Palai doesn't have a separate landform, thereby the Kurinji and Mullai lands dried by drought were referred to as Paalai. This is just a small intruduction to get you all started. I will discuss more about these thinais in different posts from now on. Of the five, Marutham poems speak of the hero's infidelity and the heroine's sorrow.
Among the eight anthologies, Ainkurunooru is a collection of 500 short poems. Each thinai has 100 poems based on it. So a 100 poems numbered 1 to 100 are based on Marutham thinai which speak of the hero's infidelity. These poems were sung by a poet named Orampogiyaar.

Let us see one such poem, which is the 25th poem in the Ainkurunooru collection.
This poem is set as one which is spoken by the heroine's friend to the heroine.
Original Poem:
"puyal purandh thantha punitru valar painkaai
vayalaich senkodi kalvan arukkum

kazhani ooran maarbu palarkku

izhai negizh sellal aagum annaai

Word meanings: puyal - storm, purandh thantha - let it sprout/grow, valar painkaai - growing green vegetables, vayalai senkodi - red purslane creeper, kalvan - crab, arukkum - severes, kazhani - field,  ooran - belonging to the place, maarbu - chest, izhai - jewels, negizh - loosen, sellal - making sorrowful, aagum - will be, annaai - mother (refers to the friend here)
Red purslane Pic:thanks google

Poem meaning: The hero's town has fields where crabs severe the red purslane creeper with fresh green vegetables, which had sprouted after the storm. The chest of the hero from such a town has made the jewels of many women loosen, my friend

Description: The crabs stop the creeper from flourishing more. Likewise the hero from such a town stops the heroine from being happy. He had been with many women and left them, thereby making them all sorrowful, such that their jewels get loosened. The heroine's friend says to the heroine that she is not the only one to be affected by the hero's infidelity. The poem is so rich in nature that it speaks of something happening in nature relating it to the life event.

My English version:
"Red purslane growing after the storm
Its fresh green sprouts severed by the crabs;
Man from such a town, my friend!
Makes jewels of many women loosen"

You can refer to the Tamil version of this poem with explanation in my Tamil blog. 
Please let me know your valuable comments which would help me take this translating work in the right path, to the glory of Tamil literature. Thanks!

Check for more such poems in my other blog Sangam Literature in English


  1. Dear sister...

    Great job. As like ancient tamil literature's word richness is reflecting in your english version also. It means, while I have reading sangap padals I couldn't understand the meaning without dictionary. I feel the same here also ka.... keep it up...

    please continue this great job ka... just spread the thean mathurath tamil's speciality to the world...

    good luck....

    1. Thanks Vetrivel.
      But it seems, now you started to understand sangam poems well.

  2. Super dooper Grace.. wonderful work.. you have translated keeping essence intact... :)

  3. Nice initiative Grace! I could see the effort and time you have put in this. Thanks for spreading our ancient and beautiful literature.

  4. Bharathi's dream to realize the very happy to see you sister. All my loving greetings to their unique work. Continue. Thanks for sharing.

  5. keep up the good work .. will be back with more words..

    1. Thanks Madhu. I have opened a new blog exclusive for the sangam literature,


I appreciate your valuable comments, Thanks!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...