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The decline of Tamil poetry..

Posted by AtPeace on October 17, 2007

பூ… நிலவு… சிற்பம்… ஓவியம்… தேன்… தென்றல்… மயில்… I can go on and on. The number of adjectives and metaphors used to describe women in Tamil poetry, and even Tamil movie songs, has known no bounds. I have listened to hundreds and hundreds of such metaphors, ranging from simply pleasant to extremely flattering, over my lifetime.

Which is why it struck me like a bolt of lightning when I heard a Tamil song (gaana, kuthu.. whatever!) refer to a female as ‘eversilver thattu’. Eversilver thattu? Eversilver thattu? What sort of a pathetic, bumbling poet would compare a woman to a thattu? Eversilver, at that. Why not Aluminium? That might have made the song just perfect. *sigh*

“உன் அழகினைப் பாட என் தமிழ் மொழி போதாது..
நான் உவமைகள் சொன்னால் அது முழுமை என்றாகாது..” sang Karthik with emotion. Is that it? Is that the reason..? Should I just assume that we have run out of உவமைகள் instead of worrying myself sick about the state Tamil poetry has descended to? On the one hand, we complain about singers who butcher the language and make us wince at the lousy pronunciation.. but it’s not as if the songs we offer to them to sing are sheer poetry, right?

To my pessimistic eye, there is no question that Tamil poetry w.r.t movies is definitely declining. Songs like ‘காற்றின் மொழி’ are so few and far inbetween that we gulp them down like parched soil that has experienced a drizzle… A drizzle, not even a rain. *sigh*


7 Responses to “The decline of Tamil poetry..”

  1. Naren said

    When I saw something in english..I got myself reminded of “Strawberry Kannae” from Minsara Kanavu..It’s not we ran out of “Uvamaigal” but of creative poet..

    First time visit here..keep it going..

  2. AM Aravind said

    hey Madhu,

    Never knew u moved to WordPress, until I saw ur comment on my blog and checked out ur link!

    And ya… in the midst off all the rubbish that comes in the form of lyrics, there are just a few that offer some respite! Mozhi song is a good example, so was Sahana from sivaji…. but songs like these are becoming rare to find!

  3. Hi Madhu,
    Never knew u r back 2 blogging 🙂 Good 2 c u back… How are u?
    Yeah, very true. These days it goes without saying that you can never find good & ‘MEANINGFUL’ song 😦 It is a very sad state! There is every possibility for the listeners to forget the taste of those good meaningful songs as well. Unconsciously mind fails to differentiate between what we like and what we are used to with no other option. Hope 2 c many more posts like this! 🙂


  4. Sathish said


  5. aravind said

    exactly madhu… bored these clished comparisons, analogies…. everytime when i hear “unnai kandaen… angayae tholaindhae…” in different words in different songs… Oh god… why dont they think something new….

  6. sylvian said

    Nice perspective to put…I think we should also blame the producers and the directors who don’t give the liberty for the poets to write what they want to….Vaali who wrote

    “unnai enni vaazhndha kaalam, kangal rendum eeramaaga
    kaadhal ondrum kaayamalla, kaalappoakkil aari poaga
    nenjam ellaam vaadudhey thazhumbugalaal ”

    Recently a song called ” Munbe Vaa”…its very tough to start a poem or a song with munbe vaa…..and in-numerous songs of poetic value
    was forced to write
    “yeppadi yeppadi Samanchanthu yeppadi”….

    Even the great Ilaiyaraja was forced to plagiarise in movie like Priya…
    So its not the music directors and writers to be blamed…

  7. Hei Madhu, thank you for visiting my blog 🙂 & your angry post (even though u said not angry!).

    I agree to most part of your comments – but I have to say, the media and general public were having the “vaitherichal” on IT people…just because of the salary and sudden status jump. Now they have to understand the situation or a life of an IT person! It seems like a seasonal income! every 5 years we are going down and this time it is much more worse for many….imagine a person with family and commitments. Anyway…. I read the the kavithai and liked the thought!

    http://tinyurl.com/kavithai – this is what we are talking about – just for others!

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