A poem about death—and life—from the 12th century Tamil woman, poet, and saint Avvaiyar.
Even if you wallow, weeping year after year,
Will those who have died come back?
You of this earth
Weep not. That too is our way. Till going, give
—what is it to us?—give, eat, and live.
Nalvazhi 10, “Andandu thorum purandalum.”
Translated from the Tamil by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma
GIVE, EAT, AND LIFE: POEMS OF AVVAIYAR
Red Hen Press, Los Angeles