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One of my favorite poems about love..

 
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What could my mother be

to yours ? What kin is my father

to yours anyway ? And how

did you and I meet ever ?

But in love.

Our hearts have mingled

like red earth and pouring rain.

 
kayal cox
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Maybe I should also mention that this is a translation of an old Tamil poem written more than 2 millenia ago (from the Sangam literature).
The poet is unknown, but referred to as "Chempulapeyarinar", simply meaning the "Poet of Red Earth and Pouring Rains".
 
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kayal: Maybe I should also mention that this is a translation of an old Tamil poem written more than 2 millenia ago (from the Sangam literature).



The poet is unknown, but referred to as "Chempulapeyarinar", simply meaning the "Poet of Red Earth and Pouring Rains".

How come is it one word? Could you break it into parts?

Why Earth is Red? Is it some season or geological phenomenon?
 
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I think red denotes passion. Red is also assosciated with married women.

I might be wrong though
 
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red is also just the color of the soil in some places, like in Virginia for instance it is very red. its due to the chemical composition.
 
Jayesh Lalwani
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I dont think there is any red soil in Tamil Nadu
 
kayal cox
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Map: How come is it one word? Could you break it into parts?


His name: Sempulapeyaneerar
Sem stands for Red
Pula means Soil
Peya means Pouring
Neer means water.
The "ar" in the end is something that is added to the phrase to make it refer to a person.

Why Earth is Red? Is it some season or geological phenomenon?


Chemman/Semman, or red laterite soil is quite common in southern India. It is considered very fertile.
When there are monsoon storms, the rain comes down in torrents, and the water becomes red on hitting the earth.
It is just powerful imagery, and there is this passion associated with it, that I am not able to explain in words
[ November 12, 2004: Message edited by: kayal cox ]
 
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Originally posted by Jayesh Lalwani:
I dont think there is any red soil in Tamil Nadu



I guess its their in Neyveli and in some more towns.
 
kayal cox
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Thirunelveli, Thoothukudi districts, Pondicherry...
[ November 12, 2004: Message edited by: kayal cox ]
 
Jayesh Lalwani
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Well, I'm glad to learn something new!! The soil in Bombay is brown colored
 
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North Kerala has plenty of brick red soil too. I am not surprised by the poet, the monsoon rains pouring into this soil is mighty impressive. I stayed back an extra month in India this summer just to watch that
 
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Hi Kayal,

Thats really nice. Could you send me the actual tamil version of it.. or you could even post it here too.

BTW, Map's question is really valid.
"How come is it one word?"

Thats the beauty, wonder of tamil, the classical language. The grammer of the language is so impressive and it no wonder most of our tamilians are very passionate about our language.

Most of the time I face this question from our non-tamilian indians. "Why don't you learn our 'national' language Hindi?"
 
Saran Vel
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And by the way.. here is my fav..hiku!

Anaandhu Raising your head
Imai thiranthu Opening your eye lids
Vizhi mel vangum Feeling the raindrops on your eyes
mazhaithaan

Kadhal.. Love is like this..

Athan sugam Its a great pleasure
kodumaiyaanathu! but painful!

My english transalation is really bad.. sorry abt that!
 
kayal cox
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Glad you liked it Saran.
Here is the tamil version of it!
--
yAyum njAyum yArA kiyarO
en-thaiyum n-un-thaiyum emmuRaik kElir
yAnum n-Iyum evvazi aRithum
sempulap peyaln-ir pola
anpudai n-enjsam thAmkalan- thanavE
--
You can use murasu anjal to convert this to tamil fonts.
 
Saran Vel
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Thanks a lot kayal.

Just curious.. Is 'kayal' your real name?

if('kayal' == your real name)
{
its so sweet..
}
else
{
nice choice!
}

 
kayal cox
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Saran: Just curious.. Is 'kayal' your real name?



Tricky question! No Comments! Thanks for the compliments!
 
soumya ravindranath
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Hey Saran,

that was a good one ! (you are right, Tamil sounds much better than your translation )

Soumya.
 
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If you want to be free,
Get to know your real self.
It has no form, no appearance,
No root, no basis, no abode,
But is lively and buoyant.
It responds with versatile facility,
But its function cannot be located.
Therefore when you look for it,
You become further from it;
When you seek it,
You turn away from it all the more.
- Linji

 
kayal cox
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Joe, would you please explain this to me, (like you would explain to a 5 year old)
I mean, I understand the words, but it's too... abstract, for me to get the inner meaning, I guess. And I would really like to understand what the poet is saying.
(Darn, I should have paid more attention during English literature class)

If you want to be free,
Get to know your real self.


So, What does the poet mean by "free". Free from what, and how does understanding one's real self make one free. I mean, I know myself, does that mean I am free?

But its function cannot be located.


Does "function" mean "purpose" here?

Therefore when you look for it,
You become further from it;



Why "therefore"? Why would not being able to locate the real self's function get me further from it when I look for it?
 
soumya ravindranath
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Well, when you have to look at people dispassionately, then put them all inside a circle, put yourself outside of it and watch. Slowly, it will dawn on you

To me, it looks like the poem above says the same thing about oneself.
 
Joe King
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Originally posted by kayal cox:
Joe, would you please explain this to me, (like you would explain to a 5 year old)
I mean, I understand the words, but it's too... abstract, for me to get the inner meaning, I guess. And I would really like to understand what the poet is saying.
(Darn, I should have paid more attention during English literature class)



Its is a bit abstract! While I may have completely the wrong end of the stick (I too didn't pay much attention in my English classes), I think its all about some problems with self awareness. For me, the underlying message is that we have an internal image of our "inner-self" and how we act in life is effected by this image. By having an incorrect image of our inner-self, we can lock ourselves into acting in certain ways which may not be true to that inner-self.


If you want to be free,
Get to know your real self.



This is basically saying that you can free yourself from this unconscious bindings by better (or more correctly) knowing your inner-self. While we may think that we do correctly know our inner-self, its likely we don't, and instead have an incorrect or incomplete idea of it. I think the second part of the poem's message is that the "inner-self" isn't something that we can identify by consciously and logically thinking about it and searching for it, its more something that we identify by feelings and empathy:


Therefore when you look for it,
You become further from it;
When you seek it,
You turn away from it all the more.



I think the answer to the dilemma is in the middle of the poem:


But is lively and buoyant.
It responds with versatile facility,


This to me says that the inner-self will kind of make itself known in most every day situations. Instead of thinking to ourselves loads about what our inner-self is, we should just carry on as normal and open up our feelings and empathy, and then we'll come to comprehend it more - kind of a passive acceptance rather than an active investigation.

Now this may be complete rubbish of course - the cool thing about most poetry (and I find especially with Zen poetry) is that different people can find different meanings in it. Perhaps that is the essence of the poem - not the words or the rhythm, but the reaction it brings out in people. The poet is not constructing a set of words, but encouraging a set of reactions. It is the reactions, not the words, that is the poetry.
 
kayal cox
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That was a nice explanation, and I can appreciate the poem a lot more now. Thank you!


Joe: It is the reactions, not the words, that is the poetry.



This itself sounds pretty poetic to me
 
kayal cox
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"Pursuit", by Stephen Dobyns

Each thing I do I rush through so I can do
something else. In such a way do the days pass -
a blend of stock car racing and the never
ending building of a gothic cathedral.
Through the windows of my speeding car, I see
all that I love falling away: books unread,
jokes untold, landscapes unvisited. And why?
What treasure do I expect in my future?
Rather it is the confusion of childhood
loping behind me, the chaos in the mind,
the failure chipping away at each success.
Glancing over my shoulder I see its shape
and so move forward, as someone in the woods
at night might hear the sound of approaching feet
and stop to listen, then, instead of silence
he hears some creature trying to be silent.
What else can he do but run? Rushing blindly
down the path, stumbling, struck in the face by sticks;
the other ever closer, yet not really
hurrying or out of breath, teasing its kill.

 
soumya ravindranath
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This used to be my favourite...

How Do I Love Thee?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

 
kayal cox
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Soumya: This used to be my favourite...


"Used to"? What is your favorite now?
 
soumya ravindranath
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Originally posted by kayal cox:
"Used to"? What is your favorite now?



well, i can't think of one favourite at the moment. This one I posted above sometimes feels a bit too mushy

My habit of seeking the funny side of seemingly serious stuff made me laugh when I came to last line of Saran's poem (Tamil version not the English). If I ignore the last-but-one line of Browning's poem, I end up asking "Whose death ?!"
 
Joe King
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Originally posted by kayal cox:
This itself sounds pretty poetic to me



Ah, recursion!
 
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Not on the vulgar mass
Called "work," must sentence pass,
Things done, that took the eye and had the price;
O'er which, from level stand,
The low world laid its hand,
Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice:

But all, the world's coarse thumb
And finger failed to plumb,
So passed in making up the main account;
All instincts immature,
All purposes unsure,
That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the man's amount:

Thoughts hardly to be packed
Into a narrow act,
Fancies that broke through language and escaped;
All I could never be,
All, men ignored in me,
This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped.


Robert Browning
 
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Originally posted by kayal cox:

I mean, I understand the words, but it's too...



Oh, you will understand it when you can hear the sound of one hand clapping
Right, Joe!
 
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Originally posted by kayal cox:
Glad you liked it Saran.
Here is the tamil version of it!
--
yAyum njAyum yArA kiyarO
en-thaiyum n-un-thaiyum emmuRaik kElir
yAnum n-Iyum evvazi aRithum
sempulap peyaln-ir pola
anpudai n-enjsam thAmkalan- thanavE
--
You can use murasu anjal to convert this to tamil fonts.




Hi Kayal,

I have read some long poems of love in Tamil...but this is really very nice. Thanks for posting it. Short and sweet. Could I know from where did you get this poem?


"Thirunelveli, Thoothukudi districts, Pondicherry...



Also some parts of interior TamilNadu like Sivagangai, Melur and the surrounding places have red soil or "Chemman". It is considered to be well-suited for cultivation and rich in minerals.

In the poetic realm, there has always been a connection between "Rain and Red Soil",

In some poems, the poets describe the passion, striking a comparison between the rain water, contained in a cloud, eager to reach the Red soil, beneath it.

This is one relation. There are many such found in the poems......

Any way, Good poem.......

Cheers,
Swamy
 
Joe King
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Originally posted by Sonny Gill:

Oh, you will understand it when you can hear the sound of one hand clapping
Right, Joe!



Indeed. While considering that, here is another koan:


Two monks were watching a flag flapping in the wind. One said
to the other, "The flag is moving."
The other replied, "The wind is moving."
Huineng overheard this. He said, "Not the flag, not the wind;
mind is moving."



I do find that these things make a lot more sense on a friday night, after a certain level of alcohol consumption, then on a monday morning
 
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Originally posted by Ramaswamy Srinivasan:

Could I know from where did you get this poem?



Heard about Kuruntokai? It's the 40th song in that collection.
 
Sonny Gill
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Originally posted by Joe King:

I do find that these things make a lot more sense on a friday night, after a certain level of alcohol consumption, then on a monday morning



I keep my after-drinks friday night time for ghazals or Nusrat.

I miss my copy of Zen Flesh, Zen Bones though
 
Ramaswamy Srinivasan
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Originally posted by Mani Ram:


Heard about Kuruntokai? It's the 40th song in that collection.



Thanks Mani.

Cheers,
Swamy
 
Mani Ram
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:


Why shocked Map? We actually have works older than this.
We just lost it somewhere. .We are still searching for them in the deep seas!

Map: Why Earth is Red? Is it some season or geological phenomenon?
Here is my take on this.
Two major type of soil in Tamilnadu are red soil & black soil.
The black soil doesn't mix well with the water, but the red soil does. Once the water & red soil mixes, they become inseparable (at least when compared to the black soil). So, the poet gives a strong bond between the hearts.
 
Ramaswamy Srinivasan
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Originally posted by Mani Ram:


[qb]Map: Why Earth is Red? Is it some season or geological phenomenon?
Here is my take on this.
Once the water & red soil mixes, they become inseparable (at least when compared to the black soil). So, the poet gives a strong bond between the hearts.[/QB]



Very true....This is one more relation, between soil and the emotions.

Map, Have you seen earthern pots? Now they are made ornamental, with some sort of painting and some decorative works, in many places. That is made of this red soil We use it for domestic and ornamental purposes.

Red soil is very famous here, in India.

Cheers,
Swamy
 
Ramaswamy Srinivasan
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Here's One more correlation, of the Red Soil and the lovers.

This is a line in one of the songs of a Modern Day's Tamil Movie, called "Iruvar"...meaning "Two Persons"...which narrates the story between two personalities.

The particular song is very good.....any one who's after some good melodies, can give it a try.

The verse is

sembulam saerndha neerththuli poal ambudai nenjam kalandhadhenna



It means... "Our hearts got blended, as how the drop of water, gets mixed, with the red soil"..

The poest describe the intimacy of the lovers. This is one of my favourite.......there are lot more.......


Cheers,
Swamy
 
Mani Ram
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Originally posted by Saran Vel:
And by the way.. here is my fav..hiku!




It's a prose poem, not a Haiku!
 
kayal cox
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Here's a fun one!

Ranga Be Brave
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Deep in jungle I am went
On shooting Tiger I am bent
Bugger Tiger has eaten wife
No doubt I avenge poor darling's life.

Too much quiet, snakes and leeches
But am not feared these sons of beeches
Hearing loud noise I am jump with start
But noise is coming from damn fool heart

Taking care not to be fright
I am clutching rifle with eye to sight
Should Tiger come I will fall him down
Then like hero return to native town

Then through trees I am espying one cave
I am telling self - "Ranga be brave"
I now proceed with too much care
From nonsense smell this Tiger's lair

My leg is shake, I start to pray
I think I shoot Tiger some other day
Turning round I am going to go
But Tiger giving bloody roar

He bounding from cave like shooting star
I commend my soul to Kali Ma
Through the jungle I am went
Like bullet with Tiger hot on scent

Mighty Tiger rave and rant
Rangaswamy shit in pant!
Must to therefore leave the jungle
Killing Tiger one big bungle!!

I am telling that never in life
I will risk again for damn fool wife!

-Anon
 
soumya ravindranath
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Originally posted by kayal cox:
Here's a fun one!

Ranga Be Brave
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Deep in jungle I am went



Thanks for beginning my day with
 
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