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Poetry thread

Posted: 2018-02-09, 11:25
by rmanoj
I thought it would be good to have a thread where we could share poetry in South Asian languages, particularly orally recited stuff--there is certainly a strong tradition of that in Malayalam, and I would guess in many other languages of the region.
Here's a very simple Malayalam poem by Kumaran Asan. It's called കുട്ടിയും തള്ളയും kuṭṭiyum taḷḷayum 'Child and Mother':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMiIwugQGZc

I'll try translating it myself. (And I can do a transliteration later if anyone wants one)

ഈ വല്ലിയിൽ നിന്നു ചെമ്മേ—പൂക്കൾ
പോവുന്നിതാ പറന്നമ്മേ!

തെറ്റീ! നിനക്കുണ്ണി ചൊല്ലാം—നൽപ്പൂ-
മ്പാറ്റകളല്ലേയിതെല്ലാം.

മേൽക്കുമേലിങ്ങിവ പൊങ്ങീ—വിണ്ണിൽ
നോക്കമ്മേ,യെന്തൊരു ഭംഗി!

അയ്യോ! പോയ്ക്കൂടിക്കളിപ്പാൻ—അമ്മേ!
വയ്യേയെനിക്കു പറപ്പാൻ!

ആകാത്തതിങ്ങനെ എണ്ണീ—ചുമ്മാ
മാഴ്കൊല്ലായെന്നോമലുണ്ണീ!

പിച്ചനടന്നു കളിപ്പൂ—നീയി-
പ്പിച്ചകമുണ്ടോ നടപ്പൂ?

അമ്മട്ടിലായതെന്തെന്നാൽ? ഞാനൊ-
രുമ്മതരാമമ്മ ചൊന്നാൽ.

നാമിങ്ങറിയുവതല്പം—എല്ലാ-
മോമനേ, ദേവസങ്കല്പം.


Here, so many* flowers are flying away from this vine, mother!

Wrong! I'll tell you, child. All these are butterflies.

Rising higher and higher—look in the sky, mother—what beauty!

Oh! To go and play with them—mother, I can't fly!

Don't count the impossible and grieve pointlessly, my darling child!

You toddle about and play—but does this jasmine walk?

What if it were thus? I'll give you a kiss, mother, if you tell me.

The little that we here know—all of it, darling, is God's will.




*this word (ചെമ്മേ) could mean 'beautifully' rather than 'so many'. Either definition would work, I guess

Re: Poetry thread

Posted: 2018-03-09, 23:00
by atalarikt
A poem titled Pagal (Lunatic) by famous Nepali poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota.
https://youtu.be/k1CEyL6ZAS4

Re: Poetry thread

Posted: 2018-03-12, 20:49
by vijayjohn
Thanks for these poems! :)

There are lots of these in Burushaski (just check the Burushaski thread!) and, of course, lots of Tagore songs in Bengali (including the national anthems of both India and Bangladesh and some patriotic songs such as Ekla Chalo Re). This is an excerpt with English subtitles of another patriotic Bengali poem called "Kon Deshete Tarulata," this time by Satyendranath Dutta, from Aparajito (1956), a movie directed by Satyajit Ray:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHE8gNPptNw
This is a ghazal in Pashto by Khyal Mohammad called "Gham de Lewane Kram Jaanaana":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCH3lOYG22Q

Re: Poetry thread

Posted: 2018-03-31, 0:08
by Aekalaivan12
Dude I am a hardcore Raja sir fan....Balu Mahendra is my all time fav Tamil director... There is a malayalam song from these combo...."Thumbi Vaa Thumbs Kudathin"...This is my most fav of Raja's gem..I'd like you to translate the meaning of that song's lyrics in English... Of course ...if possible...:)

Re: Poetry thread

Posted: 2018-05-22, 4:37
by vijayjohn
Sorry for taking so long to reply! To be honest, I am not that familiar with this song, but I have heard at least the beginning before. :) I have attempted a translation of the lyrics into English for you below:

Chorus:
Come (here), dragonfly! I will set up a swing on top of the thumba flower pot.
With momentum(?), I will touch the leaves of the golden banyan tree in the sky and come (back).
Come (here), dragonfly! I will set up a swing on top of the thumba flower pot.

1. I will touch the horse that is entranced by a mantra with a ruby hand. (2)
In the shade where the wish-fulfilling tree bloomed in the courtyard where the Gandharva was singing,
Can you sing, oh swing? (2)
Can we go now to eat
On the metal plate of the "maternal uncle in the sky" (i.e. of the moon)?

(Chorus)

2. Oh swing, you've gone and sung the words
To a song from long ago with a drop of the honey on my lips,
Above the hill of hard candy, in the shade where the fortune-telling woman sets up her home.
That hand grabs this hand.
Give me the gooseberry (நெல்லிக்காய்) seed in your hand!

(Chorus)

Re: Poetry thread

Posted: 2018-05-22, 8:30
by rmanoj
vijayjohn wrote:Sorry for taking so long to reply! To be honest, I am not that familiar with this song, but I have heard at least the beginning before. :) I have attempted a translation of the lyrics into English for you below:

Chorus:
Come (here), dragonfly! I will set up a swing on top of the thumba flower pot.
With momentum(?), I will touch the leaves of the golden banyan tree in the sky and come (back).
Come (here), dragonfly! I will set up a swing on top of the thumba flower pot.

1. I will touch the horse that is entranced by a mantra with a ruby hand. (2)
In the shade where the wish-fulfilling tree bloomed in the courtyard where the Gandharva was singing,
Can you sing, oh swing? (2)
Can we go now to eat
On the metal plate of the "maternal uncle in the sky" (i.e. of the moon)?

(Chorus)

2. Oh swing, you've gone and sung the words
To a song from long ago with a drop of the honey on my lips,
Above the hill of hard candy, in the shade where the fortune-telling woman sets up her home.
That hand grabs this hand.
Give me the gooseberry (நெல்லிக்காய்) seed in your hand!

(Chorus)

A few things:
The horse isn't entranced as such, it's running fast thanks to the power of the mantra.

മന്ദാരം is just a real tree, right? This thing? https://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%B4%B5%E0%B5%86%E0%B4%B3%E0%B5%8D%E0%B4%B3%E0%B4%AE%E0%B4%A8%E0%B5%8D%E0%B4%A6%E0%B4%BE%E0%B4%B0%E0%B4%82
It must be 'in the shade where the courtyard-മന്ദാരം in which the Gandharva was singing bloomed'

It must indeed be the moon—the 'uncle' thing is common, as in the name അമ്പിളി അമ്മാവൻ for the moon.

I think should be 'The lines of an old song/ Became drops of honey on my lips'. The syntax is a bit ambiguous here, but I think this is the more likely interpretation.

It's not 'where the fortune-telling woman sets up her home', it's 'where the crow grazes'. Do crows graze? 'Forages for food', maybe.

പിടി here just means 'a fistful', as in 'ഒരുപിടി ചോറ്' so, 'As a fistful in that hand, a fistful in this hand/ Give me gooseberry seeds that aren't bitter.'

Re: Poetry thread

Posted: 2018-05-22, 12:26
by vijayjohn
Thanks, rmanoj! I was wondering about some of those things and didn't suspect the others. I think you're right; I thought മന്ദാരം was a real tree, but I'd never heard of വെള്ളമന്ദാരം before...and for some reason, I didn't think of just searching for മന്ദാരം in the Malayalam Wikipedia. :lol: