Demanding Companion

written by Avvaiyar

Demanding Companion

— Avvaiyar

O ye troublesome
stomach of mine!
You are not agreeing
to forgo
your habitual meal
even for a day;
Nor would you accept
in one lot
food for two days –
today and tomorrow.

You do not realise
even for a moment
the travails I am put to
on your account!
All I can say,
O stomach of mine
is that it is indeed
an arduous task
to live with you!

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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