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Tamil Poetry Through the Ages- Set of Two Volumes (An Old and Rare Book)

Tamil Poetry Through the Ages- Set of Two Volumes (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAY946
Publisher: Institute of Asian Studies, Chennai
Language: Tamil and English
Edition: 2000
Pages: 1,013
Other Details: 9.50 X 7.00 inch
Weight 1.72 kg
Preface Vol-I
The Institute of Asian Studies has come forward to publish the English translation of selection,- of Tamil poems from the Cankam age to the modern period. The plan is to bring out an anthology of Tamil Poetry through the Ages, in several volumes, carrying the original poems and their translated version. As a first step in this venture, selections from the Cankam classic Ettuttokai have been chosen and published as the first volume. No special yardstick is employed in the choice of the selection for Tamil Poetry through the Ages. But care is taken to present to the reading public a judicious representation drawn from all genres and forms and traditions of Tamil poetry such as Ettuttokai, Pattuppagu, Ethical literature, Bhakti poems, Epics, Medieval pirapantam, Cittar poems, later Bhakti literature, Christian and Islamic literature, Neo classical literature and new poetry. Such a representative selection is made with a view to creating in the readers a taste for Tamil poetry and stimulating their desire for future study of the wealth of our great literature. As far as possible, the principle of retaining the spirit of the original is borne in mind in the translation.

The translation of the first volume is the outcome of the effort of Prof. S.M. Ponniah of Malaysia. Dr. J. Parthasarathi of Tamil Nadu revised the version of Prof. S.M. Ponniah, so as not to swerve from the original. This is done in deference to the expressed policy of the Institute of Asian Studies. Besides, Dr. J. Parthasarathi has added his introduction to the first volume, The Poetry of the Eight Anthologies: An Overview and a note to the translation of this volume, Introducing this Translation. The Institute is grateful to them for their efforts.

This volume could not have been published without the hard work of the following members who deserve our special thanks: Dr. E.S. Muthuswamy, Dr. Thiagamani, Mrs.. J. Kalpana, Dr. R. Jeyaraman for their proof reading, Mr. Patrick David Harrigan for his language correction, Mr. S. Kolappan for his typing of the manuscript, Mr. K. Selladurai for his computer printing, Artist A.S. Natarajan, Students Offset Services & Adyar Students Xerox.

A study of Tamil literature is incomplete without a study of Cankam classics. Of course Tamil literature abounds in classics of an astounding variety. Profound in their thematic contents and perfect in their literary forms the Tamil classics are wide in their range. To cite a few significant examples, we have Tirukkural with its masterly couplets encapsulating a code of ethics, both temporal and spiritual, for the entire world. Great epics like Kamparamayanam enable the readers with the impact of their exalted themes and narrative excellence. Devotional poetry of a very high order like Teviram and hagiographic masterpieces like Periyapuranam are classics in their own right. Besides the Saivite and Vaishanavite saints and poets who created classics there were scholars of other religions like Jainism, Islam and Christianity who richly contributed to the corpus of Tamil literature. Many of their masterpieces can be legitimately included in the list of Tamil classics. Apart from the classics that come under the broad spectrum of perilakkiyam (major literature) there are so many outstanding works of cirrilakkiyam (minor literature) under the categories of kalampakam, ula etc., that certainly deserve to be called classics.

With such an overwhelming profusion of classics in .Tamil poetry what is so special about the Carikam classics'? The term Carikam refers to a literary institution or rather three such voluntary institutions formed in succession by Tamil poets in the capital city of Pahtiya kingdom. The three successive institutions were of course patronized by Pahtiya kings.

Preface Vol-II
The Institute of Asian Studies has been publishing the English translations of selected Tamil poems from the Cankam age to the modern period. The first such volume of Tamil Poetry through the Ages was published in the year 1997. Now for the second volume six poems from the Pattuppattu anthology have been taken up for translation and publication. While all poems in Pattuppattu are fine literary pieces in their own different themes and aspects, the six poems chosen for this volume provide a variety on the basis of the broad Cankam classifications of akam and puram and the minor divisions of various tinai (situation) as well. Two works of the arruppa.tai class have also been included. The aim of such a judicious choice is to present to the reading public a translated spectrum of the ancient Tamil literature in all its creativity and veracity. It is our earnest hope and desire that this volume will serve its intended purpose of stimulating the readers' interest in the glorious civilization and literature of the ancient Tamils.

This translation of six selected poems from the Pattuppattu anthology has been done by Prof.R. Rajarathnam who was professor of English and Principal in colleges affiliated to the universities of Madras and Maturai. He was a senior faculty member of the department of English and also a member of the syndicate of Anna University before his retirement.

An introduction to the Cankam literature in general, separate and specific analysing comments on the six selected poems and a brief introduction to the translation have been provided by the translator. The Institute is greatful to him.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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