Tag Archives: Sangam poems in English

Vaidehi’s Sangam Tamil Poetry Translations



Please learn the Sangam poems if you want to know your heritage as a Tamil.  These poems reveal the sophisticated ancient Tamil culture of over 2,000 years ago.  The literature is a record of Tamil Nadu history of about 500 – 600 years.

Our ancestors who wrote the Sangam poems were geniuses.  There are 18 books.  They have left this incredible treasure for all of us to enjoy.  We as Tamils are very lucky to have inherited their poetry.  With some effort, all of us can learn and enjoy these poems.  In A.K. Ramanujan’s words “Even one’s own tradition is not one’s birthright; it has to be earned, repossessed”.   

In addition to translation, I have given meanings which will help to learn.  I have deliberately translated into easy, contemporary English so that the reader can learn the original Tamil poems easily.  English is a mere tool which could help Tamils to learn the original Tamil poems.  I have also written ‘eliya Tamil urai’ for some Kurunthokai, Ainkurunuru, Natrinai, Akananuru, Kalithokai and Purananuru poems.  I have also written ‘eliya Tamil urai’ for Mullaippaattu and Nedunalvaadai.  Please buy the Tamil urai books written by our great scholars (நச்சினார்க்கினியர், ஒளவை துரைசாமி, உ. வே. சாமிநாதையர், பொ. வே. சோமசுந்தரனார், அருள் அம்பலவாணர், பின்னத்தூர் அ. நாராயணசாமி ஐயர், இரா. இராகவையங்கார், தி. சதாசிவ ஐயர், அ. தட்சிணாமூர்த்தி, கு. வெ. பாலசுப்ரமணியன்).  That is the best way to learn these lovely poems and know our past.

Please contact me if you need to know more about the urai books written by these scholars – kavini100@gmail.com.

This is a one person effort.  Kindly share this site with friends and family.  You need to get my permission to put my translations in any book or internet site.  I update my work constantly, add more details, valuable references, grammar notations and cross references in the Notes section.  If you download, please update your files at least once a month.    

A.K. Ramanujan wrote, “These poem are ‘classical,’ i.e., early, ancient; they are also ‘classics,’ i.e., works that have stood the test of time, the founding works of a whole tradition.  Not to know them is not to know a unique and major poetic achievement of Indian civilization”.

In addition to Sangam, I have also translated the following to English, with meanings – முத்தொள்ளாயிரம், பாண்டிக்கோவை, திருக்குறள், 6 பதினெண்கீழ்க்கணக்கு அக நூல்கள்.

Here are the sites:

1. முத்தொள்ளாயிரம் – https://muthollaayiram.wordpress.com

2. பாண்டிக்கோவை – https://pandikkovai.wordpress.com

3. திருக்குறள் – https://thirukkuralinenglish.wordpress.com

4. ஆறு பதினெண்கீழ்க்கணக்கு அக நூல்கள் – https://pathinenkeelkanakku.wordpress.com (திணைமாலை நூற்றைம்பது, திணை மொழி ஐம்பது, ஐந்திணை எழுபது, ஐந்திணை ஐம்பது, கார் நாற்பது, கைந்நிலை)

5. Tagore’s Gitanjali translation – https://gitanjaliintamil.wordpress.com

6.  My translation of Manickavasakar’s Thirukovaiyaar will be up soon.


Vaidehi Herbert

Hawaii, U.S. A.

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