A note on Poets in the Akananuru

George Hart glhart at BERKELEY.EDU
Fri Apr 16 21:41:36 UTC 2010

I meant to send this to the Tamil list -- still, authorship of Indic  
texts is an interesting subject. There are a lot of lists!  Sorry.  
George Hart

On Apr 16, 2010, at 2:09 PM, George Hart <glhart at BERKELEY.EDU> wrote:

> I am working through the Akananuru now, constantly struck by the  
> ingenuity of the poets.  The words of Māgha certainly fit:
> kṣaṇe kṣaṇe yan navatām upaiti tad eva rūpam ramaṇīyatāy 
> āḥ
> That which becomes new every moment is the very form of beauty.
> The poems rehearse the same situations and often the same imagery  
> over and over, yet each one seems to have something new and  
> extraordinary that makes it different from the others.  In any  
> event, I remember speaking with Rajam once about the Akananuru and  
> she remarked how different the poems of Paraṇar and Kapilar are.  Af 
> ter working through many poems, I am struck by how unerring her insi 
> ght is (and I am indebted to her for pointing this out).  We constan 
> tly wonder about the authorship of these poems -- are the attributio 
> ns simply made up, or are they real?  In some poems, it is clear tha 
> t the anthologist has taken liberties -- I doubt that anyone really  
> believes the poems attributed to Pāri Makaḷir are by Pāri's  
> daughters.  But, after seeing how the techniques of Pāri and Kapilar 
>  are so different and how the poems of each have similar styles, I a 
> m beginning to wonder whether in fact the attributed authorship of t 
> he Sangam poems is not in fact accurate.  Is there any evidence, for 
>  example, that Kapilar did NOT write the century of poems in the Ain 
> kurunuru attributed to him (Martha Selby has said she believes the A 
> inkurunuru to be late)?  Or that the Sangam poets who are supposed t 
> o have written the Pattuppāṭṭu may not have been the same as in  
> "earlier" works.  Note that in Tamil love poetry and Poetics, Takaha 
> shi believes that some of the anthologies are late and thus that the 
>  authorial attributions are incorrect.  I'd be interested in what pe 
> ople think about this.  George

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list