Wednesday, March 26, 2008



I met God
Did not feel like
asking him anything.
He too smiled
and went away.
Yet I felt peace.

கடவுளைக் கண்டேன்
எதையும் கேட்கவே தோன்றவில்லை.
அவரும் புன்னகைத்துப்
போய் விட்டார்.
மனதிலே ஒரு நிம்மதி.

World War

On the roof
a crow and squirrel fought.
The squirrel chased, crow flew.
The crow flew, squirrel jumped.
the squirrel flew
the crow ran.
Nothing happened to nobody.

ஒரு கூரை மேல்
காக்கைக்கும் அணிலுக்கும் சண்டை
அணில் துரத்த காக்கை பறந்தது
காக்கை பறக்க அணில் தாவியது
அணில் பறந்தது
காக்கை ஓடியது
ஒன்றுக்கும் ஒன்றும் ஆகவில்லை

Just be

Tell me your friends
I will tell who you are
a wise man told.
I replied
Tell me who you are
I will tell who your friends are.
His shocked eyes widened like saucers.
Does it matter
Who you are
Who I am
Unnecessary questions
Unnecessary answers
Without proving anything
Just be.

உங்கள் நண்பர்களைச் சொல்லுங்கள்
நீங்கள் யாரென்று சொல்லுகிறேன்
என்றார் ஒரு பேரறிஞர்
நான் சொன்னேன்
நீங்கள் யாரென்று சொல்லுங்கள்
உங்கள் நண்பர்களைச் சொல்லுகிறேன்
முழித்த முழி முழியையே முழுங்கும்போல
நீங்கள் யாரானால் என்ன
நான் யாரானால் என்ன
அனாவசியக் கேள்விகள்
அனாவசிய பதில்கள்
எதையும் நிரூபிக்காமல்
சற்று சும்மா இருங்கள்

Athmanaam is one of the well known tamil poets of 1970s literature movement. I have read bits and pieces of his poems on the net, yet to get hold of a collection of his poems. Almost everyone from Asokamithran to Sujatha praised his poetry. Part of his mystic allure is the fact that he committed suicide when he was just 34.


Bala said...

//His wide eyes could have devoured themselves

lighta idikkara madhiri irukkae..

krishnan said...

Chen, have you read this one?

Peyyena peyyuma mazhai?
Aaamenil, koora chol un thaayai, ippoomi nanayattum.

It's a very simple one. I'm sure you must have come across this one somewhere. It's a teenager's rant on the society's take on morality. :)

Chenthil said...

bala - yes, am struggling with that line. Will "his shocked eyes widened as saucers" work?

Krishnan - that bit is from the novel Thayam, written by Kamalhassan in 1980s. This story was later made into the movie Aalavandhaan. I have a bound copy of that novel which was serialized, in Idhayam pesugiradhu I think. I haven't seen the movie. In the novel, when Vijay asks Nandhu in the asylum whether he still writes poetry, this is the one Nandhu writes off the cuff. And with this poem do we start to understand Nandhu's hatred towards women.

krishnan said...

Yep. But, this is not the poem that Nandhu recites in the movie. It was changed. He comes up with "Pennai nambi pirandha bodhe thoppul kodigal arubadume", the one written by Vairamuthu.

PS: I don't mean to be nosy, but the name in the title is not spelled the right way. It should be Aathmaanaam. The title instead says Athamanaam. Please change it. :)

Murali said...

Hi Chen,
Love the stuff you are doing.

A breath of fresh air - reading Tamil poetry...haven't done it since I wrote my 10th standard second language paper back in the 70's.

Anonymous said...

Just in case you missed this:

Krishnan said...

Good to read Athmanaam's poetry. Can you recommend a book which has his collection ?

Mythily said...

arumaiyane kavithaigal...

lazy geek said...

very late to read this post. but he didnt suicide. he had a natural death but because of a mental condition.

and he actually foresaw his death that he had post cards for all his friends with their addresses on as he was expecting death.