Sembula Peyneer Pola Anbudai Nenjam Than Kalanthanave

Silly points

One of the most beloved and memorable of all Tamil poems on love composed over 2000 years ago in an anthology called Kurunthokai by Sembula Peyaneerar.

யாயும் ஞாயும் யார் ஆகியரோ?

எந்தையும் நுந்தையும் எம் முறைக் கேளிர்?

யானும் நீயும் எவ் வழி அறிதும்?

செம் புலப் பெயல் நீர் போல

அன்புடை நெஞ்சம் தாம் கலந்தனவே.

– செம்புலப்பெயனீரார்

Here is AK Ramanujan’s translation.

Kurunthokai 40 – What He said

What could be my mother be

to yours?what kin is my father

to yours anyway?And how

did you and I meet ever?

But in love our hearts are as red

earth and pouring rain:


beyond parting.

It is impossible to convey in English the beauty and impact of the lines, Sempula Peyal neer pola anbudai nenjam thaan kalanthanave

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