Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thirukkural – 1224

In the absence of my lover, dusk arrives
like a harsh executioner.

காதலர் இல் வழி, மாலை, கொலைக்களத்து
ஏதிலர் போல, வரும்.

When my lover was with me, evenings were blissful. Now that he is absent, arrival of the evening is like that of a harsh executioner, out to slay my life.

Rev.G.U.Pope and Yogi Shuddhananda Bharati interpret கொலைக்களம் as battlefield. I have interpreted it as an execution square / place. Like (கொலைக்களக் காதை) in the epic Silappathikaaram. கொலைக்களத்து ஏதிலர் – Literally ‘stranger in the execution chamber’. Parimel Azhagar in his 13th Century commentary interprets ஏதிலர் – அருள் இல்லாதவர், one who is inconsiderate. I have used ‘harsh’.

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