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Translation of Cuppiramania Bharathiyar's poem: Kannamma, My Love by T Wignesan

Translation of Cuppiramania Bharathiyar’s poem: Kannamma, My Love! (Kannamma En Kaathali) by T. Wignesan

Yet another poem by the most famous modern Tamil poet, written a century ago – despite the commonplace imagery – follows in the original very complex classical Tamil prosodic rules in the execution of initial and end-rhymes, alliteration in each line and in the immediate and successive lines as a whole, the inner rhymes of assonance and consonance notwithstanding. The non-Tamil can best savour these poetic and/or musical qualities by listening to the version of the poem set to music, and here sung by Mahathi:

YouTubeFR: Aasai Mugam Jukebox – Songs of Bharathiyar – Tamil Patriotic Songs (It’s the 4th song down on the left column)    

Does not the endearing warmth of our mutual gaze – Kannamma
Reflect the light of the sun and moon alike?
Does not the precious circular eye – Kannamma
Dispel the darkness of the skies?
Dressed in deep-blue silk – the sari
Inlaid with choice diamonds
While in the core of pitch darkness – glitter
The scintillating stars – Dear-Girlie!

Does not the blossoming grove fade – lit by your
Illuminating smile?
Even as blue-tinted sea waves –your 
Breast heaves in unison – Girlie-Dear!
Just as the enticing cuckoo call – your
Sweet dulcet tones invade, My Dear!
O! You unspoilt young maiden! – Kannamma!
The bridal feast* has yoked my heart, alas!

You speak of comparing birth-charts* - Kannamma
What avails such astrological omens?
For those who can hardly repress yearning – Kannamma
Might the stars forebode greater bliss?
If our elders will bestow approval – nuptial
Arrangements we will later formalize
Will I be waiting for you, My Dear – to seal
Our vows – plant I this kiss on your cheek!

•	According to Hindu custom, the brides’s family has to offer a sumptuous dinner to the formally-invited bride-groom.
•	Hindu marriages are often contracted after verification of
birth-charts, drawn up by astrologers, to ascertain the compatibility of the bride to the bride-groom.

© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2015

Copyright © T Wignesan


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