Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kali th thokai – 142

O,Sun with rays unspread! if you reach the hill,
find him;if you hand him
over to me, my heart’s fire,
burning my life as wick, will abate

கதிர் பகா ஞாயிறே! கல் சேர்திஆயின்,
அவரை நினைத்து, நிறுத்து என் கை நீட்டித்
தருகுவைஆயின், தவிரும் என் நெஞ்சத்து
உயிர் திரியா மாட்டிய தீ

This is from poem 142, Kaliththokai – lines 37-40. It is a 65 line long poem. Girl pines for her lover who resides atop the hill. She asks the setting sun to find him . The brevity of words is a challenge in translation. கதிர் பகா – பகா is indivisible.Prime numbers = பகா எண் . But undivided rays isn’t poetic. Hence I translated it as unspread. The setting sun’s rays aren’t spread. It is going back home. She’s asking the sun to look for her lover in the hills.

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