Please learn the Sangam poems if you want to know your heritage as a Tamil. These poems reveal the sophisticated ancient Tamil culture of over 2,000 years ago. The literature is a record of Tamil Nadu history of about 500 – 600 years.
Our ancestors who wrote the Sangam poems were geniuses. There are a total of 26,250 lines in 18 books. They have left this incredible treasure for all of us to enjoy. We as Tamils are very lucky to have inherited their poetry. With some effort, all of us can learn and enjoy these poems. In A.K. Ramanujan’s words “Even one’s own tradition is not one’s birthright; it has to be earned, repossessed”.
In addition to translation, I have given meanings which will help to learn. I have deliberately translated into easy, contemporary English so that the reader can learn the original Tamil poems easily. English is a mere tool which could help Tamils to learn the original Tamil poems. I have also written ‘eliya Tamil urai’ for some Kurunthokai, Ainkurunuru, Natrinai, Akananuru, Kalithokai and Purananuru poems. I have also written ‘eliya Tamil urai’ for Mullaippaattu and Nedunalvaadai
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A.K. Ramanujan wrote, “These poem are ‘classical,’ i.e., early, ancient; they are also ‘classics,’ i.e., works that have stood the test of time, the founding works of a whole tradition. Not to know them is not to know a unique and major poetic achievement of Indian civilization”.
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