குறுந்தொகை


தமிழ் is my mother tongue. My mother, grandmother and my aunts were more than mere patrons of this beautiful language. Some of them wrote poetry and prose; others were serious dramatists. Even today, I can listen to my aunt recite பாரதியார் பாடல்கள் for endless hours with a kind of passion that is infectious... and I am so glad that another aunt took to writing after retirement.

Back in school, I wish I had done better than just memorize these verses for marks and medals.

After an inspiring conversation with 2 friends on Facebook over 2 weeks ago, I finally borrowed this book by A.K.Ramanujan "Poems of Love and War" from the library yesterday. I have not kept it down since. (People who know me well know exactly how rare such occurrences are! )

Reading the originals on 'Project மதுரை' and the translations by Sir Ramanujan - I feel terrible about how little attention I paid to my தமிழ் ஆசிரியர் in school. While I feel very sad about being able to appreciate my mother tongue better with an English translation, I am sure this is better than not appreciating it at all. I'd recommend you give it a shot.

Find below a sampler:

What could my mother be
to yours? What kin is my father
to yours anyway? And how
did you and I meet ever?
But in love
Our hearts have mingled
Like red earth and pouring rain.


Please grab the book if you enjoy poetry - am sure you won't regret it! :)

11 comments:

Murali Rajendran 3:38 PM  

hmmm...tamil verses on the blog space! even though its a sampler from a well known work, good to see it here.

aren't these lines used in the one of the songs from iruvar?!

N 3:43 PM  

yes murali, it is. so beautifully composed too. you will enjoy this book, am sure.

Arvind Suresh 3:51 PM  

Ive been looking for a good book to read for a while now. Going to take you up on this reccomendation for I share your sentiments on missing out on really 'enjoying' tamizh in school and I do believe there is much to learn and enjoy from tamizh poetry, most of which I have missed growing up.

Hopefully I will remember to get back to you on this blog post once Im done with the book!

N 11:59 PM  

Let me know if you like it. Used ones are available on Amazon for $18 or so. :)

Manasa 12:19 AM  

I read Ramanujan's translations, which are amazing by themselves. And then I got hold of a copy of kuruntokai in Tamizh, the original, with urai-nadai and tried to read and savour a poem a day. Unfortunately I had to leave my copy behind when I moved. But, really, the imagery in the poetry is astounding. It gives me a lot of Tamizh-pattru - the people who wrote these poems were obviously civilized, thoughtful beings. I really want to study sanga-ilakkiyam extensively at some point.

Here's another poem I love:

Don't they really have
in the land where he has gone
such things
as house sparrows

dense-feathered, the color of fading water lilies,
pecking at grain drying on yards,
playing with the scatter of the fine dust
of the street's manure
and living with their nestlings
in the angles of the penthouse

and miserable evenings,

and loneliness?

N 12:50 AM  

you should then find Project Madhurai useful. They have almost anything you can think of in their collection.

And this poem... No words whatsoever!
How they take you to a world so beautiful and then bring you to miserable evenings and loneliness.

wow.

prasanna venkatesh.b 12:18 AM  

the new look is very beautiful! by the way there is a great rendition of this in Madhirakshi, may be I have already told you this...have fun with Sangam!

N 12:55 PM  

@PV: I think so too! Have heard the one from Madhirakshi as well :) What are you reading currently?

suvarnasundar 1:33 AM  

wow! beautiful! Translation is awesome too. Thanks for the post :). will try to check this stuff out. Used to be a huge fan of bharathiar. Still am :).

karthick hariharan 10:54 PM  

Kurunthogai...is a very good collection. Have always had the interest to read them all. This post remembers me of my school days where I used to attend Tamil class even though I took sanskrit [ Of course just for scoring some marks.. ]

Actually, you don't have to go that far, Simply read Thirukural kaamathu paal. Unimaginable heights of romance, love.


Have good time reading. Keep posting.

Swirling Regret 12:11 AM  

http://storiesforthebroken.blogspot.com/

"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence" - Ansel Adams

In this space you will find images and words. It is upto you to weave 'em together and see what I see.