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Poems of Bharatiar

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sangeetaa

Senior Member

sangeetaa

Joined: 20 January 2006

Posts: 941

Posted: 11 April 2006 at 1:07pm | IP Logged

Hi all: Inspired by all the fantastic posts on this forum of late, I want to post the biography and some Tamil poems of Subramanya Bharati (Bharatiar), the most beloved 20th Century Tamil poet.

We had a thread on him earlier, to which many wonderful contributions were made by Vidya, Sri and others.[Here is the link to the old thread for reference: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=234009)]

I taught myself to read Tamil for the sole purpose of reading Bharati's poems!One of my most cherished dreams is to develop a database of all of Bharati's poems in Tamil script, with the romanized version and translations on the web. I know of no such database at present. Unfortunately, my Tamil is very limited. So, if anyone reads this and has the time or interest, please contact me.

Here is a short biography of Bharatiar:

Subramanya Bharathy

Subramanya Bharathi (December 11, 1882 - September 11, 1921) better known as Mahakavi Bharathiar (Maha Kavi meaning Great Poet) in Tamil, is deemed one of the greatest poets of twentieth-century India. A prolific writer, philosopher and a great visionary of immense genius and perspicacity, Bharathiar was also one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement in South India.


Born on December 11, 1882 in the Tamil village of Ettayapuram, Bharathy was educated at a local high school where his talents as a poet were recognized even at the age of 11. After an early marriage, Bharathy, curious to see the outside world, left for Kashi in 1898. The next four years of his life, served as a passage of discovery, where Bharathy discovered a country in tumult, outside his small hamlet.

He had an exceptional love and devotion towards his mother toungue Tamil language, which he considered as the sweetest of all the languages known to him. He was fluent in many languages including Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, Kuuch , French and English and frequently translated works from other languages into Tamil. He had a voracious apetite for learning ancient and contemporary Tamil literature and had a gifted intellect to derive astonishing truths from ancient poems.

Immersing himself in Hindu spirituality and nationalism, Bharathy returned to his Southern home, an iconoclast who shattered without hesitation, every meaningless social taboo and rule that held sway amidst the orthodox South Indians. By the early 1900s Bharathy had become completely involved in the nationalist movement and took active part in the Congress meets through out the country.

During this period, Bharathy understood the need to be well-informed of the world outside and took avid interest in the world of journalism and the print media of the West. Bharathy joined as Assistant Editor of the Swadeshamitran , a Tamil daily in 1904. By April 1907, he had started and become the editor of the Tamil weekly India . and the English newspaper Bala Bharatham .

These papers not only served the purpose of enlightening the masses on the affairs of the nation and the world outside, but also as a means of expressing Bharathy's stupendous creativity, which began to peak at this time. Bharathy started to publish his poems regularly in these editions. From complex religious hymns to rousing nationalist anthems, from contemplations on the relationship between God and Man to Songs on the Russian and French revolutions, Bharathy's subjects were truly diverse.

This period produced such masterpieces as Kannan Paattu (The Song of Krishna), where Bharathy sought to portray The Divine as the source of all of humanity's passions in the most accessible of forms including in the roles of a love-lorn lover, of a mischievous child, of an innocent child, and of a wise teacher.

The poetry and imagination of Bharathy, of this era, has rarely been surpassed in any literature that followed. Bharathy also published two of his most widely read epics during this period Panchali Sapatham (Draupadi's Vow) a poetic semi-political reflection on greed, pride and righteousness derived from the Indian epic Mahabharata and Kuyil Paatu (Song of The Cuckoo) an ode and a tribute to the poet's favorite Shelley.

As a journalist, Bharathy was the first in India to introduce caricatures and political cartoons to his newspapers; they were satirical and angry hand drawn illustrations of the poet that improvised heavily on the works of his inspiration Thomas Nast.

By 1912 Bharathy was already a legend in South India and his political meetings in Pondicherry, where he lived since 1908, were attracting multitudes of young patriots, ready to join the non-violent constitutional agitation against the British rule.

This led to a systematic British suppression of what was dubbed as the "militancy". Several arrests and bans on his newspapers followed. The poet's health was badly affected by the imprisonments and by 1920, when a General Amnesty Order finally removed restrictions on his movemnet, Bharathy was struggling in penury and failing health resulting in his tragic premature death.

Bharathy died as a result of trampling by an elephant at Parthasarathy temple, Thiruvallikeni on September 11, 1921, not yet forty years of age. The legacy of the poet however endures. ... His funeral was attended by only 7 people.

excerpted from: http://subramanya-bharathy.biography.ms/

In the thread I will post some of Bharati's poems. Please feel free to contribute, edit, correct and comment! (It should be noted his poems were really songs).



Edited by sangeetaa - 11 April 2006 at 6:25pm

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sangeetaa

Senior Member

sangeetaa

Joined: 20 January 2006

Posts: 941

Posted: 11 April 2006 at 1:10pm | IP Logged
Akkinik konjondru kanden (A little flamelet I spied)

Akkinik kunjondru kanden
Athai angoru kaatilor ponthailai vaitthen
Venthu thinandidu kaadu
Thazhal veerathil konjendrum mupendrum undo?
Thathirikitu thatthirikitu thitthom!

A little flamelet I spied
I put it in a hollow over there in a forest
The forest burned down and smoldered
Can a flame's might know of youth or old age?
Tantanaatantan

ab_srgmp

Goldie

ab_srgmp

Joined: 12 January 2006

Posts: 1250

Posted: 11 April 2006 at 1:22pm | IP Logged
Not too familiar with his poems, but I've heard some of them (some on TV, and some in movies).

I liked the one from Kandukonden Kandukonden (sung by Hariharan).

Thanks for that translation.



Edited by ab_srgmp - 11 April 2006 at 1:24pm

kd286

IF-Dazzler

kd286

Joined: 01 July 2005

Posts: 2748

Posted: 11 April 2006 at 1:38pm | IP Logged
sangeeta,

i know bharathiar to be a great poet and a freedom fighter...
i'll be looking forward to ur posts....
though i cant understand complex tamil...i like his songs.....

please keep posting....... Clap

sangeetaa

Senior Member

sangeetaa

Joined: 20 January 2006

Posts: 941

Posted: 11 April 2006 at 1:54pm | IP Logged
thanks for the encouragement guys! It will be slow, unfortunately, because my literary Tamil is very poor, (let alone my conversational Tamil, which is pretty marginal). This makes translations painstaking. But I will try to post one every day - that is my goal.

sangeetaa

Senior Member

sangeetaa

Joined: 20 January 2006

Posts: 941

Posted: 11 April 2006 at 2:12pm | IP Logged
gummu - are you offering your services now? LOL

vidya - if you see this... HELP!!

sangeetaa

Senior Member

sangeetaa

Joined: 20 January 2006

Posts: 941

Posted: 11 April 2006 at 2:43pm | IP Logged
Okay, due to popular demand, here is my attempt at the song in Kandukonden kandukonden:

Chuttum vizhi chudadaa, Kannamma, suriya chandiraro?
Vattak kariya vizhi kannama, vaana karumai konde
Pattuk karu nile, pudavai, padittanal vairam
Natta nadu nisiyil teriyum natchatirangaladi

Solai mana oliyo unadu sundara punnagai thaan!
Neela kadal alaigal unadu nenjil alaigaladiye!
Kola kuyil osai unatu kuralin inimaya di!
Vaalaik kumariyadi kannamaa maruva kaadal kondaen

Saathiram pesikirai kannamma, saathiram yedukadi?
Aathiram kondavarke kannama, saathiram undodi?
Muthavarsammadiyin vaduvai muraikal pinbu saivom
Kaathirupenadi iduvai, kannathil muttam onre!

Does [your] gaze burn like fire, Kannamma, [is it] the blazing sun?
[Your] gaze lined with black coal evokes the lining of black clouds
Your pallu colored blue - your sari studded with diamonds
Right through them, [look], you can see the stars!

The fragrance of a garden - indeed your beautiful smile.
The waves in the blue ocean are the waves [emotions] of your heart.
The song of the cuckoo bird - is in fact the sweetness in your voice
(not sure about this line-->)Hail to this young woman who once again brought love!

You speak of rules, Kannnama, what for rules?
For someone who evokes such passion, can there be any rules?
We'll take the permission of the elders and do the customary rites later.
I will be waiting for you right here for your kiss on my cheek. Embarrassed

ab_srgmp

Goldie

ab_srgmp

Joined: 12 January 2006

Posts: 1250

Posted: 11 April 2006 at 3:25pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by sangeetaa

Okay, due to popular demand, here is my attempt at the song in Kandukonden kandukonden:

Chuttum vizhi chudadaa, Kannamma, suriya chandiraro?
Vattak kariya vizhi kannama, vaana karumai konde
Pattuk karu nile, pudavai, padittanal vairam
Natta nadu nisiyil teriyum natchatirangaladi

Solai mana oliyo unadu sundara punnagai thaan!
Neela kadal alaigal unadu nenjil alaigaladiye!
Kola kuyil osai unatu kuralin inimaya di!
Vaalaik kumariyadi kannamaa maruva kaadal kondaen

Saathiram pesikirai kannamma, saathiram yedukadi?
Aathiram kondavarke kannama, saathiram undodi?
Muthavarsammadiyin vaduvai muraikal pinbu saivom
Kaathirupenadi iduvai, kannathil muttam onre!

Does [your] gaze burn like fire, Kannamma, [is it] the blazing sun?
[Your] gaze lined with black coal evokes the lining of black clouds
Your pallu colored blue - your sari studded with diamonds
Right through them, [look], you can see the stars!

The fragrance of a garden - indeed your beautiful smile.
The waves in the blue ocean are the waves [emotions] of your heart.
The song of the cuckoo bird - is in fact the sweetness in your voice
(not sure about this line-->)Hail to this young woman who once again brought love!

You speak of rules, Kannnama, what for rules?
For someone who evokes such passion, can there be any rules?
We'll take the permission of the elders and do the customary rites later.
I will be waiting for you right here for your kiss on my cheek. Embarrassed


ClapClapClap Wonderful.



Edited by ab_srgmp - 11 April 2006 at 3:29pm

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