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In Memoriam - Songs from the Purananuru - Song 256

During this month of May, as Tamils remember their loved ones that were killed as the armed conflict ended in 2009, we publish selected Poems from the classical Tamil anthology, the Purananuru (the 400 Puram poems) as we have done in previous years.

The following poem is extracted from the ‘Urn poem’, written by an anonymous poet and translated by A.K. Ramanujan in his anthology the 'Poems of Love and War'.

Song 256 – An Urn for Burial
Tinai: Potuviyal

An Urn for Burial


O Potter,

I have come with him
through narrow places

like a tiny white lizard
hugging the spoke of a cart wheel

Be kind
make me an urn
for his burial
in the wide earth

And make it
wide enough
for me too

You who makes pitchers for this city,
this wide, old city

Collection: In Memoriam - Songs from the Purananuru

Song 356 (22 May 2014)

Song 191 (19 May 2011)

Song 216 (18 May 2011)

Song 74 (17 May 2011)

Song 226 (16 May 2011)

Song 245 (15 May 2011)

Song 255 (14 May 2011)

Notes - Puram refers to the exterior, public or outer – and so the Purananuru contains the Poems of War, and external life, as opposed to the Akam which refers to the interior, including the Poems of Love.