A poem about true friendship by the 12th century Tamil woman, poet, and saint Avvaiyar. From her collection, “The Word that Endures.”
Like water birds that leave a dried-up lake
Those who flee trouble are not friends.
Like the lilies
And lotuses staying in that lake,
Those who stick with you—friends.
Moothurai 17, “Atra kulathil aruneer paravai pol.”
Translated from the Tamil by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma
GIVE, EAT, AND LIFE: POEMS OF AVVAIYAR
Red Hen Press, Los Angeles