Occupy Poetry

More appropriate advice from the THIRUK-KURAL for those` who would be King: VALIARITHAL:

BY T. Wignesan

More appropriate advice from the THIRUK-KURAL to those* who would be King: VALIARITHAL - Understanding the Wielding of Power
[*like presidents, prime and chief ministers, dictators or even modern-day "emperors" under the guise of revolutionary leaders of oppressed peoples]

Note: In this the 48th Canto, Valluvar is back - from the purely literary point of view, given his ultimate reasons for maintaining the decadal format for each topic - to composing his epigrams some of which merely serve to "fill in", as I have repeatedly reminded the reader, the decade.
Here, the first two distiques are of a general introductory nature; the next two, the key statements contain his pronouncements on the theme of "how to wield power" in politics; the following two re-capture in imagic form the teaching in the previous couple, and the last four - no less literary gems in prosodic exercises - mere repetitious variations of the main premise enunciated in 473 and 474.] T. Wignesan

K471: vinaivaliyum thanvaliyum maatraan valiyum
thunaivaliyum thuukkich cheyal

The force the strife demands, the force he owns, the force of foes,
The force of friends: these should he weigh ere to the war he goes. (Transl. G.U. Pope)
Let (one) weigh well the strength of the deed (he purposes to do), his own strength, the strength of his enemy, and the strength of the allies (of both), and then let him act. (Transl. Drew & Lazarus)

In all belligerent activity* consider well one's own strength, the might of the enemy, and those of helpers on either side before setting forth. (Transl. T. Wignesan)
[*vinai has four senses: 1. action in general; 2. retributive action; 3. warlike operations: and 4. hostility.]

K472: olvathu arivathu arinthathan kanthanggich
chelvaarkkuch chellaathathu il

Who know what can be wrought, with knowledge of the means, on this,
Their mind firm set, go forth, nought goes with them amiss. (Transl. G.U. Pope)
There is nothing which may not be accomplished by those who, before they attack (an enemy), make themselves acquainted with their own ability, and with whatever else is (needful) to be known, and apply themselves wholly to their object. (Transl. Drew & Lazarus)

If one knows what is possible*, without letting any unknown aspect or facet to cloud his mind, then no failure will await him in his undertaking. (Transl. T. Wignesan)
[* olvathu = what is possible]
(to be continued)
© T. Wignesan - Paris, 2017

T. Wignesan


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