Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Neethi Neri – 49

Even if a task cannot be completed,
wise men try till the end – it isn’t wrong
to give a lifesaving dose to one at deathbed,
at times impossible may be possible too.

உறுதி பயப்பக் கடைபோகா வேனும்
இறுவரை காறும் முயல்ப – இறும் உயிர்க்கும்
ஆயுள் மருந்தொழுக்கல் தீதன்றால் அல்லனபோல்
ஆவனவும் உண்டு சில.

This set of poems were written by Kumarakurubarar in 17th century on the request of Tirumalai Nayakkar, Nayak King of Madurai. These poems are moral advise on how to live. These are straight forward and easy to understand.

When one is at death bed, people still try to revive him by giving a life saving medicine. Some times it may work. Likewise wise men will try till the end even if a task cannot be completed. The last line works well in Tamil – அல்லன போல் ஆவனவும் உண்டு சில. ‘Impossible may be possible too’ is the closest I could translate it to.

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