Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....

Look on this Picture and on that

Avvai (Rendered from Tamil by P. N. Appuswami)


(Rendered from Tamil by P. N. Appuswami)

[This small poem is taken from the anthology, Pura-nanooru. It is, perhaps, two thousand years old. Its author is Avvai, the poetess.

The story of the poem is stated thus: Avvai was once sent by her king, Athiyaman Anchi, as an ambassadress to the court of a neighbouring king, Thondaiman. He did her the honours; and, to impress her with a show of his might, took her round his well-furnished armoury. But when he looked at her for appreciation, he got this song instead. It shows us how sharp-tongued she could be, and how smooth and well-oiled words can lash and sting.]

These are plumed with peacock feathers, and are decked with garlands.
Their thick strong handles are finely wrought;
They are nicely oiled,
And are housed in a well-guarded and spacious mansion.
But those, through goring his enemies, have their edges blunted, tip and side;
And ever lie at the blacksmith’s little smithy–
They, the sharp pointed spears of our king,
Who, when he is affluent, distributes rich food;
And when he is not, shares his food with us;
The liege lord of all the poor and their kinsfolk,
The noble one.

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