MODERN TAMIL POETRY

Translations of a few innovative Tamil poems.

Translated by RAA . SRINIVASAN

***


Tree

My shadow
Plays and plays around the sun
That is somewhere in the sky.

Seeing my reflection in the gutter
Logged under the root
I become hateful

The warrior
Who comes to strike me off
If only mar my shadow alone
I will grow and branch out to a great height
Amplify to nine fold

Along with me
You could mar
My shadow too.

Could you take out
My shadow alone.

Silence

Every night is
Silence of the light

Every star is
Silence of the sky

Every word is
Silence of Tranquility

Every song is
Silence of the Love.

- Kaa.Naa. Su

***

Where is the bird
That was flying
In the window framed sky
A while before.

It has been flying
A while before.

- Anand

****

How to approach a dinosaur.
Sticking in close quarters
The thumb nail would hold umbrella.
Head and tail are somewhere many miles apart
Looking from the back
The abdomen and the genitals are in abyss
From the ear
Toes are far away,

How to approach a dinosaur.
It is making it approach us.

- Devathatchan

***

Is that Ramachandran I asked.
It is Ramachandran he said.
Which Ramachandran,
Neither had I asked
Nor he told.

***
It is of no use blaming
The waves
Until the ocean is.

- Nakulan

****

Thought
Expression and
Listening
These three are not one thing.
If it is one thing
It is one thing
Like that of the time
That has become three.

- C. Mani

**


I have put around the house
A garden,
I have put around the garden
A fence,
I have put around the fence,
A guard. And
I worried about the guard…

- Shanmuga Subbiah

**

I held on to the place
I have got to sit,
Clamour all around.

- Azhagiya Singar

***

At the second floor in the balcony

At the second floor in the balcony
Near the single window
I was eating along with me…
Called the crow that was on
The neem branch nearer.
Thinking whether they are
Forefathers or celestials
I put out a little cooked rice
The rice remained rice
And the crow fled away.
Whose forefathers they are
I do not know.

Acquaintance

The Butterflies
That flies over the ground
Gets acquaintance with the soil.
The soil
Gets acquaintance with the molten fire
The Molten fire
Gets acquaintance with the cells.
The cells
Gets in love with the soil.
With the cells merged with the soil
The butterflies that got acquaintance with the soil
Gets in relation.
Life sweetly
Jumps and flies.
With the butterflies
Without following any particular direction
The butterflies
Leads the life
Though
Without following
The course of any butterfly
That flies over the ground
Butterflies lead the life.
Though
The course of
Any butterfly
That flies over the ground too
Is known only to itself.
A line I am
Leading along naturally.
It chooses
A certain direction
The Butterflies
That flies over the ground
Gets acquaintance with the soil.
I am talking with you

- Atmaanaam

***

My shame

Does a tree
Know the count of the leaves it sprouted?
Does it have the desire
To look in the mirror that is the sky?
What is its opinion
About the hands that pluck its offspring?
Does it have the joy of moon shining?
What consents has it given to the birds?
I do not know.

I feel ashamed.

- Pasuviah (Sundara Ramaswamy)

***

A feather that got separated
From the wing
Goes on writing a birds life
In the unending pages of the wind…

- Pramill

***

Tamil is the breath for me too
But I will not breathe it over others.
*
In the dark of the pial
Someone asked where am I to put the head?
Someone said
Keep it near the hand
Safe from theft.

- Gnanakkoothan

****

The laugh of the stars

Laying the egg in the small branch
Looking upward
Laughed that bird
In retort
The sky has not at all blinked eye.
But
All the
Stars
Of course were glistening
Inside the little eggs.

- Sha Aa

***

At the footsteps of Intuition

The traversed path
The years gone by.
The sound of the horse’s hoof
The thrill of music.
The birds shadow frozen on the earth.
Today, tomorrow is far away.
The rail-track left behind by the train.
In the footsteps of intuition
A torrential rain.

Raa Srinivasan

**

Thanks  : navinavirutcham

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