Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kambaramayanam – 624

As if unable to withstand fiery flames
of the dainty stepped woman’s passion,
the scorching sun folded his lengthy arms
and immersed himself in the ocean.

அன்ன மெல் நடை அவட்கு அமைந்த காமத் தீத்
தன்னையும் சுடுவது தரிக்கிலான் என,
நல் நெடும் கரங்களை நடுக்கி ஓடிப்போய்,
முன்னை வெங் கதிரவன் கடலில் மூழ்கினான்.

In Kamban’s Ramayanam, Sita and Rama see each other even before breaking Shiva’s Bow. As Rama enters Mithila, he looks up at Sita standing in the balcony. It is love at first sight. Then he walks away. Sita falls love sick. This poem is descriptive of that evening, when the sun has set. In Kamban’s imagination, the sun is unable to withstand the heat of Sita’s passion. Hence he goes and hides in the ocean.

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