Real Life-Saver

written by Avvaiyar

Real Life-Saver

— Avvaiyar

Just because your brother and sister
are born in line with you,
do not expect them
to be supportive relatives;
For have you not observed
an inherited disease
turning a killer
although born with one?
(Do not be disheartened
over the truth I have set out)
for there are still those
not linked with you in birth,
who come to you in succour
in your hour of need,
even as the medicinal herb
growing on a distant hill
is drawn towards you
as cure for your illness…

About the poet


Avvaiyar

The Avvaiyars (Tamil: ஔவையார்) "respectable women" was the title of more than one poet who was active during different periods of Tamil literature. The Avvaiyar were some of the most famous and important female poets of the Tamil canon. Abithana Chintamani states that there were three female poets titled Avvaiyar. Among them, Avvaiyar I lived during the Sangam period (c. 1st and 2nd century CE) and had cordial relation with the Tamil chieftains Paari and Athiyaman. She wrote 59 poems in the Puṟanāṉūṟu. Avvaiyar II lived during the period of Kambar and Ottakoothar during the reign of the Chola dynasty in the 13th century. She is often imagined as an old and intelligent lady by Tamil people. She wrote many...

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