How many father,mother,wife,children I had – Pattinathar poem

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.

How many,

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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  1. hi, r u having collections of patinathar?

    i want this two poems of him “thirai kadal odium thiravium thedu” and ” katharuntha oosium kadaisi varai varathey”

  2. can u post this poem please…..
    “katharuntha oosium varathu kan kadaivazhikke…”

  3. vdtutra thinpuyar annamalayar kalarpathaththai, poothutra eppothum pugalum nenjeesaer intha poothalathil, theethutra selvamenn thedipputhaitha thiraviamen, kathatra oosium varathukaanum kadaivazikkae — Pattinaththar

  4. Hai,
    You can get books of patinathar padal by loacal publishers. or you can read the book “Gnanam Pirantha kadai” by kavingar Kannadasan. in that book he explained selected songs of patinathar.. its very good and inforamtive. every one like it

  5. Hai,
    You can find such meaningful lyrics in “Siddar Padalgal”, which are available from the Eighteen Siddargal. We know that more Siddargal lived in India; but no records are now available.

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