Farm land as King’s court

தண்டலை மயில்கள் ஆடத் தாமரை விளக்கம் தாங்கக்
கொண்டல்கள் முழவின் ஏங்கக் குவளை கண் விழித்து நோக்கத்
தெள் திரை எழினி காட்டத் தேம் பிழி மகர யாழின்
வண்டுகள் இனிது பாட மருதம் வீற்றிருக்கும் மாது ஓ!

Peacocks dance , lotus flowers are like lamp bearers,
clouds thunder , water lillies look wide eyed,
ripples in clear water show things hazy, like melodious lyre
do bees sing; thus rests the farm land king’s court.

Peacocks are like dancers, lotus flowers are like lamp bearers, clouds are like drums accompanying the dancers, water lillies look wide eyed at  this scene which is hazy due to ripples in water,  like seeing it from behind a screen,  the sing song of the bees is like the melody of lyre – Hence the farm lands resemble the king’s court.

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4 Comments

Filed under பாலகாண்டம்

4 responses to “Farm land as King’s court

  1. Chenthil, Can I attempt too? (with your permission)
    This particular verse is one in my kamban love-list; Thatz why:)
    ——-

    தண்டலை மயில்கள் ஆடத் தாமரை விளக்கம் தாங்க
    கொண்டல்கள் முழவின் ஏங்கக் குவளை கண் விழித்து நோக்க

    Proud headed peacocks in dance, Lamps of lotuses in trance
    Clouds of the east playing drums, Lilies waking up with hums..

    தெள் திரை எழினி காட்டத் தேம் பிழி மகர யாழின்
    வண்டுகள் இனிது பாட மருதம் வீற்றிருக்கும் மாது ஓ!

    Ripples of the pond drawing screen, Bees harping Lute in the scene
    Land of the Murudham in Green, Lo, She is an ever majestic Queen!

  2. By all means KRS. This is one of the descriptive verses I have come across so far. Your translation rhymes well. In my earlier attempts of translating Tamil poetry in English, many of my readers criticized me for giving up on the original meaning for the sake of rhyme.

    For Kamban, I have decided to stick to literal translation as much as possible. Lotuses in trance – தாமரை விளக்கம் தாங்க, Lillies waking up with hums – குவளை கண் விழித்து நோக்க ; these two aren’t literal translations but read well :-).

    A question I have – யாழ் is lute or lyre or harp? I am a dunce when it comes to music, so if you can teach it will be of use to me.

    • Chenthil,
      யாழ் is distinct than all of these three, but now extinct:(
      But almost close to harp;
      Lyre is ancient greek, and is plucked with a small pick (like guitar)
      But Harp is hand plucking – thatz why it is close to யாழ்!

      //many of my readers criticized me for giving up on the original meaning for the sake of rhyme//

      :))
      You can never bring in the 100% meaning in a translation;
      some tamizh words do have a subtle meaning, that cant be freely translated as such (like யாழ், மாந்தும் etc)
      We should attempt the spirit of kamban; Thatz how, he did to Valmiki too:)

      Of course, not rhyme for rhyme sake, but some of those majestic kamban verses, should have a bit of majesty in translation as well; Thatz why!

      Pl continue your good effort & flow with what your heart tells u; Afterall Kamban is always heartful!:)

    • One more…
      //மருதம் வீற்றிருக்கும் மாதோ//

      Many early உரையாசிரியர்கள் took it as “King”, even though the word மாதோ comes in;
      They split it as மருதம் வீற்றிருக்கும் + மாதோ = Oh lady, The king of Marudham is seated!

      In those days, it was male dominant mood; They couldn’t visualize a woman seated on the throne!
      Fear of straying away from tradition, many latter day ppl. also followed the beaten path:)

      After all மருதம் is இயற்கை and it is always இயற்கை அன்னை & not இயற்கைத் தந்தை:)
      So, மருதம் வீற்றிருக்கும் மாதோ = மருதம் + வீற்றிருக்கும் மாதோ?

      Tradition need not be “feared”, but “adored”;
      True Love will permit alternate thoughts:)

      //Lamps of lotuses in trance
      Lilies waking up with hums..//

      The reason, I did this is bcoz, I come from a village and have enjoyed seeing the pond in childhood:)
      Lotus bloom first & then these lilies.. as Sun spreads slowly!

      Lotus will not even wait for the sun to come up fully; Just the spreading rays & lo.. it will bloom….
      So, I wrote, lotus is in morning trance, after waking up to its love = Lamps of lotuses in trance!
      (விளக்கம் = விளக்கு; தாமரை விளக்கம்; So lamps of lotus, kamban’s thought should not be omitted for rhyming sake!)

      Lilies wake up a bit late, lazy with all the hums & sounds:)
      Even kamban wakes up lotus 1st & lily next; தாமரை விளக்கம் தாங்க and then only குவளை கண் விழித்து நோக்க… Itz subtle…subtle to a nature observer:)

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