அன்னை எத்தனை எத்தனை அன்னையோ?
அப்பன் எத்தனை எத்தனை அப்பனோ?
பின்னை எத்தனை எத்தனை பெண்டீரோ?
பிள்ளை எத்தனை எத்தனை பிள்ளையோ?
முன்னை எத்தனை எத்தனை சன்மமோ?
மூடனாயடி யேனும றிந்திலேன்,
இன்ன மெத்தனை யெத்தனை சன்மமோ?
என்செய் வேன்? கச்சியேகம்ப நாதனே?
Thiru Ekaampa Maalai – 43
How many, o how many mothers were mine?
How many, o how many fathers were mine?
And then, how many women did I posses?
How many children did I beget?
How many,many births did I go through?
I dont know-
I,your foolish,foolish slave.
many more births shall i try to waive?
O lord Ekampa of Kanchi,
what shall I do?
Poet : Patinathar
Translated by Kamil Zvelebil
Patinathar has been regarded has the greatest poet among the Shiddas. He is also considered the great relativist and the great pessimist of Tamil Literature . He was a poet who believed life was a tragedy and an eternal interplay of contradictions and ‘fairy tale told by some idiot’ .
His poems often express spiritual frustration and a passionate longing for peace, even in death.
This poem here expresses his helplessness in trying to end his cycle of birth and death. Unlike other poets who pray to god to take them out of this cycle and to grant them salvation, Pattinathar has pessimistic attitude even in idea. He has no hope that he would attain salvation and he is worried about his helplessness.
This poem of Pattinathar is a mix of cynicism and pathetic helplessness.
Poets of Power by Kamil Zvelebil.
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