Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kurunthokai – 401

In his shores glistening crabs scurry into the sea
afraid of frolicking girls whose damp hair
is adorned with braided flower strings
of fragrant creeper flowers and lilies;
my physical revelry with him, rules out 
further harmless fun, even for a day; strange is this!

அடும்பின் ஆய் மலர் விரைஇ, நெய்தல்
நெடுந் தொடை வேய்ந்த நீர் வார் கூந்தல்
ஓரை மகளிர் அஞ்சி, ஈர் ஞெண்டு
கடலில் பரிக்கும் துறைவனொடு, ஒரு நாள்,
நக்கு விளையாடலும் கடிந்தன்று,
ஐதே கம்ம, மெய் தோய் நட்பே!

She’s been to the beach and made out with him. As her mother notices the change in her, she is locked up at home and further meeting with him is ruled out. She says, “It is surprising that a day’s physical brings about changes in me and rules out chances of even being around with him.” Since she has bathed in the sea her hair is damp and she’s wearing fresh flowers. These make her mother suspicious.

அடும்பு – creeper
ஆய் – beautiful
விரை – fragrant
நெய்தல் – lily
தொடை – braid
ஓரை – frolic
ஈர் – wet
ஞெண்டு – crab
பரி – run
துறை- shore
நகு(தல்) – laugh
கடிதல் – rebuke
ஐது – surprising / strange
மெய் – physical
தோய் – embrace

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