Thursday, January 12, 2006

Breaking news - Tamils blogged 2000 years ago

This is the translation of a poem from Naalatiyaar, a Tamil Literary work dated around 100 AD.

The always correct and all knowing
Poet will be shunned by wisemen - He
while arguing, will abuse your ancestry or
flex his arms for a fight.

Goes on to prove that we Tamils have been in the business of blogging long before computers were invented :-)

And before you think I am an expert in Tamil Sangam Literature, let me dispel your notion. One of the books I bought in this book fair was Kongu ThEr vAzhkkai by S. Sivakumar. It is an anthology of Tamil poems from Sangam Period upto 19th century with explanation. If you are interested in Classical Tamil Literature this will be a good starting point. I learnt a lot from the book, from the outline of KundalaKesi to some delectable Bhakti Poetry


tris said...

Translation of the title of the book please - sounds familiar.

Chenthil said...

Translation of title - you mean Kongu thEr vAzhkkai, I am not very sure of it - sounds like "Life in Kongu Land". Or if you meant Naalatiyaar - it is literally "Four Line Verse"The translation of the poem is mine.

Jayaprakash Sampath said...

Chen/Tilo : this might help you

Chenthil said...

Prakash, thanks. I did read about honey droplets in Sivakumar's introduction to the book, but could not connect it with the title. I split it as Kongu and ThEr.

Tilo - KonguthEr vAzhkkai -"Life spent in collecting Honey Droplets" indicating that the book consists of selected poems that portray Tamil life over centuries.

tris said...

The reason I said the title is familiar (but then did not commit myself because it did not seem apt) is we have all heard this as the beginning of 'Tharumi's' poem in Tiruvilyadal.

Now it makes sense (Thanks icarus).

Honey bee in search of fragrant flowers because of course that is how the bee lives by collecting honey...

tris said...

and of course thanks Chen for translating the link IP pointed to. I am not competent enough in Tamil handle this but

Great title for a book.