Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bharathiyar in English

Great pals of mine, Agnibarathi and JAB, have created a new blog with a very lofty ideal - that of translating Bharathiyar's Tamil poems into English. Instead of a mere English rendering, they attempt an interesting format, which you can read about here. The blog, Bharathiyaar, has considerable material already, downloadable in pdf. My favourite so far is this extract from the post, Suttum Vizi Cudar Than:

Of rules do thee to me speak
Do rules stand for passion's peak?
Later I shall do the laws elders seek.
How shall I wait? Here, a kiss on thy cheek.

Rules you speak to me kaNNammA
wherefore do we need rules?
Those who are impatient kaNNammA
What do they have as rules?

If the elders agree kaNNammA
Later we will rites marriage seek
Shall I wait more? Look
Here, a kiss on your cheek

Another translation:
Speak not to me of rules or tradition,
I have no need for them.
My heart that flies with the
tempestous winds of passion,
Can I bind it down,
With ties of convention?

Later, by rules we shall each other wed...

For now-
Let me just kiss your cheek..."


Lotus Reads said...

Lavanya this is just beautiful! Thanks for the headsup, will check out the blog immediately.

அக்னிபாரதி said...

Lavanya, thanks a lot for the post! You are a really a dear sweet friend! :)

Ravages said...

Neat link, L.
Chenthil has tried the same thing - And I, in moments of self-delusion (which's always) think I can do the same too. Which has resulted in 3-4 translation, which somehow read not even half as good as the original.

Odysseuss the Woodstock Kid said...

How beutiful! I was just thinking of this particular translation when the first thing I see when I type 'Bharathiyaar English' is this? I have my own here...

The rays from thy swivelling eyes
Are they the sun and the moon?
Round ebony eyes, sweetheart,
Hold within them the darkness of the sky,
Thy silky deep azure saree has,
Embedded within,
Diamonds of such quality,
They are stars seen precisely
At midnight,
The freshness of the garden bloom,
Be they exquisite smile,
The waves of the blue ocean,
Be thy bosom's waves,
The colourful nightingale's call,
Be the sweetness of thy voice,
Youthful damsel thou art,
I fell in sublime love,
Speak ye of rites, sweetheat,
What need have we of rites?
Do those with fierce passion,
Have these rites?
Let us perform our own penance first then,
And care for tradition later with the blessings of elders,
I shall wait, my dear, as I be,
For thy lovely kiss upon my cheek

Sydhwaney Sounds from Sydney said...

Thank you !! Commend you on your blog and your efforts at reliving Bharathiyar in English ..

suchita said...

hey, this might be good for some people, but i believe no translation can ever do justice. In any case, what i was looking for is the tamil version itself in english because i have trouble reading tamil! like, suttum vizhi sudar. think someone can handle that?

Shri said...

Great blog! Nice effort of translating Bharthi's poems.

I am looking for the English translation of this poem.

நிமிர்ந்த நன்னடை நேர்கொண்ட பார்வையும்,
நிலத்தில் யார்க்கும் அஞ்சாத நெறிகளும்,
திமிர்ந்த ஞானச் செருக்கும் இருப்பதால்
செம்மை மாதர் திறம்புவ தில்லையாம்;

If you have, can you please email it to me at

Much appreciated!