A poem about restraint, patience, and surprise, from the 12th century Tamil woman, poet, and saint Avvaiyar.
Don’t think to conquer the one who holds back,
Concluding he must lack sense.
Perched on the sluicegate
Letting the running fish run, the white crane
Waits for the catch.
Moothurai 16, “Adakkam udayar arivilar.”
Translated from the Tamil by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma
GIVE, EAT, AND LIFE: POEMS OF AVVAIYAR
Red Hen Press, Los Angeles