Saturday 3 May 2014

[Translation] Suttum Vizhichudar dhaan

Suttum Vizhichudar dhaan
This is a very popluar love poem by the Mahakavi, so appealing because of its simplicity.The poet is engaged in an argument with his silent beloved, who holds herself back. But the poet's passion is awakened by her very presence as he admires her eyes, her voice, her youth and he helplessly plants a kiss on her cheek.
The mention of stars, the sky and cloth reminded me of a love poem by WB Yeats- He wishes for the cloths of Heaven...

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven - William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Original :
Suttum Vizhichudar dhaan Kanamma Suriya Chandiraro
Vatta kariya Vizhi Kanamma Vaana Karumai kollo
Pattu karuneela pudavai paditha nalvayiram
Natta nadunisiyil theriyum natchathirangaladi

Solai malaroliyo ninadhu sundara punnagai thaan
Neela kadalalaiye ninadhu nenjin alaigalaladi
Kola kuyilosai unadhu kuralin inimaiyadi
Vaalai kumariyadi kanamma maruvakadhal konden

Saathiram pesugirai Kanamma sathiram yedukadi
Aathiram kondavarke Kanamma sathiramundodi?
Muthavar sammadiyil vaduvai muriagal pinbu seivom
Kathirupenodi idhu paar kannathumuthamondru...

Your enticing luminous eyes-
Are they the Sun and the Moon?
Have those rounded dark pupils,
borrowed their hue from the skies?
 A silken night blue saree diamond studded,
Twinkling like stars visible in the darkest hour of the night.

 Do garden flowers lend
their lustre to your alluring smile?
Do the waves of the blue ocean
Echo the quivering of your heart?
Does your voice derive its sweetness
from the song of the cuckoo bird?
Your blooming youth Kanamma,
Stokes the fire of my passion!

You quote scripture and demure,
but beloved, do we really need them?
 Can scripture truly contain the obsessed?
Solemnize, we shall, our vows later,
In the presence of elders.
But now, impatience rules...
See- here's a kiss on your cheek...

A rendition of this poem by Bombay Jayashree: 

I thank Srinivasan Balasubramaniam and Shekar Raghavan for their inputs.


  1. thank you very much. I wanted to know the meaning of these beautiful poems.
    Lakshmi Sharat

  2. Kalyan Subramanni13 June 2018 at 23:29

    Perfect translation. Thank you so much.

  3. I was trying break down the words and understand the literal meaning. I find Bhaarathiyaar's poems very profound. It also helps that the tamizh isn't as intense as Kannadaasan's lyrics, perhaps. You have translated the poem and retained the romance and poetry :). Thank you so much. I have started paying more attention to the lyrics of tamizh songs to understand the literal meaning and the unsaid essence of it.

    1. Yes it is indeed quite challenging to translate the Mahakavi. Thank you so much for your appreciation.

  4. I was randomly looking for carnatic music..I would like to thank god for having me land to this page..I listened 30 times and still loop is going on nd on... thank you, thank you.. so much.. :)


[Translation] ஆண்டாளின் நாச்சியார் திருமொழி - கற்பூரம் நாறுமோ

    What form does bhakti take? In deep veneration it evokes intense spirituality. Can one express romantic love towards the divine? Great s...