A poem about gratitude and transformation by the 12th century Tamil woman, poet, and saint Avvaiyar. From her collection, “The Word that Endures.”
When doing good to a man, do not ask
If he’ll do good.
Tall-standing coconut palms,
Tireless and growing, take water at their roots
And return it, sweet, from above.
Translated from the Tamil by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma
GIVE, EAT, AND LIFE: POEMS OF AVVAIYAR
Red Hen Press, Los Angeles