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”→
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).
By banks of the sacred river, on the southern corner,
In the garden of Champaka1 (flowers),
Should I wait, you promised to come in the moon
Accompanied by a friend(chaperone).
You broke your word O, Kannamma!2
My heart is atremble!
Everywhere I look – your semblance
Emerge in everything; Continue reading “Bharathiyar Poem Translation – Rendezvous Missed”→
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”→
Why build an exquisite veena1,
Only to be heedlessly cast-off into dust?
Tell me O! Sivasakthi2 –
You, (who) created me with a scintillating mind
Grant me fortitude
To devote my life in welfare of this State
Tell me O! Sivasakthi – Would you let me
Become a burden to this land? Continue reading “Bharathiyar Poem Translation – Besought”→
“தனி ஒருவனுக்கு உனவில்லை எனில் ஜகத்தினை அழித்திடுவோம்”, said Mahaakavi(Great Poet) Bharathiyaar who was born in Madras, India on this very day of December 11th in the year 1882.
Translation: “If one person goes hungry, let’s destroy the world.”
Born during the period of British occupation of India, his biggest rebellion was not just against the British, but against the evils of casteism – a malignant prejudice perpetuated by his fellow-countrymen against their own. He channeled his fury and anger into poems that came alive with these emotions in vivid imagery.
Quite eccentric genius, he poured out verses that ranged from social issues to philosophy to romance; in Tamil – an ancient language which shines rich in poetry.
Today the city he lived and flourished, renamed as Chennai is reeling from floods caused by excessive rains. This disaster could have been averted or mitigated if people were not blinded by avarice and corruption.
The city is in dire need of bold, honest voices like Bharathiyaar’s, to call out on the entrenched hypocrisy with the might of a pen.