POEM | Where is he now?

LITERARY CORNER

A.K. RAMANUJAN

Here is an extraordinary effort made by A.K.Ramanujan – a great Tamil scholar. He translated old Tamil poems selected from anthologies compiled about two millennia ago. Here is one such classical poem. And we feel happy to share it with our readers, particularly at a time when, because of our greed and narcissism, we seem to have lost the art of sharing. Possibly, this ancient poem reminds us of what we are missing in our times.

If he found a little liquor,

he would give it to us.

If he had more,

he would drink happily

while we sang.

Where is he now?

If he had even a little rice,

 he shared it 

in many more plates.

Where is he now?

No more,

no singers any more

nor anyone to give anything

to singers.

As in the cold waters

jalap flowers blossom,

large, full of honey,

but die untouched, unworn.

There are many now living

and dying,

without giving

one thing

to others.  

SOURCE: Poems of Love and War (Selected and Translated by A.K.Ramanujan), Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1985  

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here