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Red Lilies and Frightened Birds

Red Lilies and Frightened Birds

Muttollayiram

M.L. Thangappa
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Red Lilies and Frightened Birds is a collection of poems in praise of the three ancient Tamil royal dynasties—Cheras; Cholas and Pandyas. Translated from the early medieval Tamil classic Muttollayiram; these beautifully crafted verses retain a surprisingly contemporary tone—a testament to their enduring appeal over the centuries. While some of them are odes to the splendour of the king’s country and city; his prowess in war; and the ruining of the enemy country; others reveal how young women; deeply infatuated with the king; pine and long for him.

M.L. Thangappa’s translation brilliantly brings to life the playful inventiveness and heady imagery of the original verses. This edition also includes an illuminating introduction by A.R. Venkatachalapathy which places this classic in its historical and cultural context.

Imprint: Penguin Classics

Published: Aug/2011

ISBN: 9780143064855

Length : 176 Pages

MRP : ₹299

Red Lilies and Frightened Birds

Muttollayiram

M.L. Thangappa

Red Lilies and Frightened Birds is a collection of poems in praise of the three ancient Tamil royal dynasties—Cheras; Cholas and Pandyas. Translated from the early medieval Tamil classic Muttollayiram; these beautifully crafted verses retain a surprisingly contemporary tone—a testament to their enduring appeal over the centuries. While some of them are odes to the splendour of the king’s country and city; his prowess in war; and the ruining of the enemy country; others reveal how young women; deeply infatuated with the king; pine and long for him.

M.L. Thangappa’s translation brilliantly brings to life the playful inventiveness and heady imagery of the original verses. This edition also includes an illuminating introduction by A.R. Venkatachalapathy which places this classic in its historical and cultural context.

Select Preferred Format

M.L. Thangappa

M.L. Thangappa (b. 1934) was born in Kurumpalapperi, Tirunelveli district, Tamilnadu. Educated at St John’s College, Palayamkottai, he taught Tamil for over twenty-five years in the various colleges of the Puducherry government until his retirement in 1994. He served on the editorial board of the Tamil monthly Thenmoli (1962–67). An accomplished poet, his books in Tamil include Adichuvadukal, Uyirppin Athirvukal, Ethu Valkai? and Nunmaiyai Nokki. His translations from Tamil literature into English range from Sangam poetry and didactic poetry to the songs of St Ramalingam, Subramania Bharati, and Bharatidasan. He has won the Bharatidasan Award (1991) of the Government of Tamilnadu, and the Sirpi Literary Award (2007) for lifetime achievement in poetry. Active in the Tamil language rights movement, he is also a founding member of the Puducherry Ecological Society. His translations from the Tamil classics have appeared in Penguin as Love Stands Alone: Selections from Tamil Sangam Poetry. Thangappa lives with his family in Puducherry.