Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kurunthokai – 97

I am here all alone; 
my virtue grieves in the shore;
coastal chief is in his hamlet;
our affair’s a gossip in public square.

யானே ஈண்டையேனே; என் நலனே
ஆனா நோயொடு கானலஃதே.
துறைவன் தம் ஊரானே;
மறை அலர் ஆகி மன்றத்தஃதே

He has left her after their love has been consummated. He hasn’t come back as promised. The town has started to gossip about their affair. So she says to her friend “I am suffering here all alone. My reserve and virtue have deserted me and are in the shore sadly. The man from the coast is in his hamlet. Our affair is now a gossip in public square.”

When she says ‘virtue is in the shore’ she hints that that’s where their love was consummated. The brevity of the original poem is remarkable, almost like a Japanese Haiku.

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2 thoughts on “Kurunthokai – 97

  1. My virtue grieves in the shore – is beautiful phrasing for ‘என் நலன் கானலஃதே’ . Thank you.

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