Bharathiyar Song – Kannamma – My Sweetheart – 1

Kathakali Dancers
Image by Shelly Paul – Kathakali Dancers
Visual Amazement
Piercing, brilliant eyes – Kannama,
Are they sun or moon?
Round black eyes – Kannama,
Are they the blackness of the sky?
Like the black-blue saree of silk,
Studded with diamonds;
Are the stars that manifest,
In the middle of the night!

Garden flower’s splendor - 
Is that your splendid smile?
The blue waves of the sea – 
Are the waves in your heart!1
Graceful cuckoo’s song – 
The sweetness of your voice!
Tender maiden – Kannamma,
Embracing love, I feel.
Continue reading “Bharathiyar Song – Kannamma – My Sweetheart – 1”

Bharathiyar Poem – Ammakannu Song

Ammakannu Song1

Lock is opened by hand – good
Mind is opened by intellect
Song is opened by melody – joyful
Home is opened by a woman(wife).

Plantain leaf2 is wiped clean by hand – mind’s
Home is wiped clean by truth
Hunting is done by arrow – love’s
Fortress is won by words.

Breath is fastened by mind – the 
Body is protected by this deed,
Rice is consumed by mouth – heart’s
Courage is consumed from mother.

Continue reading “Bharathiyar Poem – Ammakannu Song”

Bharathiyar Poem Translation – Prayer to God

Prayer to God

(Original poem by Bharaithyar)

How many crores1 of joy You fashioned!
Our Lord! O, Lord! O, Lord!

Spirit with matter – You melded
To forge the Five Elements,
Creating Heaven and Earth,
All those worlds, a treasure of colors –
A profusion of resplendent beauty.

Blissfulness is a state You created,
Where the awakened soul is fully realized,
Piety is a state You created –
Our Supreme! O, Supreme! O, Supreme!

1 – One crore is equal to ten million units. Continue reading “Bharathiyar Poem Translation – Prayer to God”

Bharathiyar Poem Translation- The Heart cannot Endure

National Songs

15. Current State of the People of Bharatham1

(Original poem by Bharaithyar)

1.  The heart cannot endure
Dwelling upon fickle minded humans,
Who live in deathly trepidation –
There is nothing in this world that doesn’t frighten them;
‘Wily ghosts’, they claim,
‘Dwells on this tree, lives in that pond,
‘Sleeps on the roof’s crest,’ – distress themselves,
In rumination, frighten themselves.         (The heart…)
Continue reading “Bharathiyar Poem Translation- The Heart cannot Endure”

Bharathiyar Poems – Kannama (3)

Kannamma (3)

(Original poem by Bharaithyar)

Permeating wind O, Kannamma1
Musing over your love makes me ecstatic
Elixir fount your lips,
Moon soaked brimming eyes,
Smelted to purest gold – your body;
In this world, for as long as I live –
You satiate my mind, precluding distractions
Transforming me into a celestial being, right here (on earth).

You are my jubilant life O, Kannamma –
All of my time, is in your devotion, Continue reading “Bharathiyar Poems – Kannama (3)”

Introduction to, Bharathiyar Poem Translation

Subramaniya Bharathi, was a 20th century Tamil poet, who lived and died in the Indian subcontinent – which at that time, was mostly colonized by the British.

He wrote poems in Tamil – an ancient language rich in literature. Like most of its contemporaries, such as Sanskrit or Greek, only the scholars could create and savor the beauty of these languages, because special training was required to read and comprehend these heavily ornate and complex works of literature. As such, the ordinary person was excluded from partaking in the literary feast, even though colloquial versions of these works existed. Continue reading “Introduction to, Bharathiyar Poem Translation”