Here’s a poem about knowledge, humility, and always continuing to learn, from the 12th century Tamil woman, poet, and saint Avvaiyar.
What we know: a handful of dirt. What we don’t:
The width of the world. The goddess of learning
So, poets, don’t bet and talk big.
The body of an ant, too, is eight spans.
“Katrathu kaiman alavu.”
Translated from the Tamil by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma
GIVE, EAT, AND LIFE: POEMS OF AVVAIYAR
Red Hen Press, Los Angeles