The ‘Emperor of Poetry’ who rules the Hearts of the Tamil youth
From Atlanta to Australia, wherever Tamils live, Vairamuthu is a household name. He is definitely an icon for Tamils who have a flair for literature. Hailed as a role model of young poets, he deserves all the praise showered on him by all sects of people.
Kannadasan, a magnanimous personality, openly accepted the fact that Vairamuthu is second to none in his creative talents and poetic genius. In cinema Vairamuthu has achieved a Himalayan victory in a very young age.
He is well-versed in conventional poetry and his talent in poetic symposia is unique.
His genius in technique and his maturity in contents are a rare combination.
Many people boasted of their English knowledge and always quoted Ezra Pound and T.S.Eliot whenever they wanted to speak of Tamil poetry.
But Vairamuthu by his superb poetic works made everybody keep mum.
In Seventies everybody hailed Imagism and quoted English quotations to explain images in Tamil poetry.
If you just have a look of Vairamuthu’s poems his creativity and powerful images will astound you.
In 1972 he has authored a poem under the title ‘Waves’.
Here in this poem you can see a multitude of poetic images, which are unique in their form and content.
Mountains made of water
Dancing on the sea!
Magical hands of the ocean!
The ropes made up of water
By the adventurous wind!
Stripped from the Sea -Maid
By the villainy wind
Philosophic commentaries of
The ocean of reason
The rolled-up mattresses of
The heavenly bed
Are you committing suicide
In the seashore?
Is it possible?
Is it justified?
Is it proper?
What will be the end?
White breasts covered with
White bed linen?
Is water itself shelling bombs?
The drama troupe conducting folk dance
Mountains of phlegm
Spit up by the black ocean
Affected by tuberculosis and
Formed by the emission of
The oceanic black curd
You are the
Dreams of the sea which
Disappear at the shore!
Kisses given by the sea
On the shore cheeks!
Walls made of water
Rushing up speedily
Breaking cracking and
Shattering into pieces!
Always teaching us the reality
That nothing is permanent in life!
Bootlickers of the deep sea!
Please wait a while
I have to utter something
To the damsels
You are under the wrong notion that
The wind is blowing of the lamps
Have you ever thought of the blue sea?
The wind maids are igniting
The white lamps -called waves-
Which are always there
Even after the sunrise!
Have you forgotten this?
Oh! Green waves!
Getting melted in the
Are dreaming to
Break into pieces
The walls of the palaces
The waves are suffering a lot
To put under siege
The beautiful damsel-Moon!
Oh Inflations of the ocean
Created by the wind!
Do not try in vain!
In this world
Overthrow the hegemony of
The affluent minority!
I swear in the fiery red blood!
The poet with a deep vision looks waves, which we see casually. The prime duty of the poet is to remove the film of familiarity. Vairamuthu, not only removes the film of familiarity, but also sees new visions and gives new meanings to routine things.
An ‘Image’is a thing, which gives both an intellectual appeal and emotional appeal at an instant of time. Pound told just one image is enough for a poem.
Here the poet creates a kaleidoscopic variety of Images.
Waves are visualized in various forms.
Walls made of water,
Ropes made of water
Mountains of phlegm
Rolled up mattresses
White breasts covered with white linens
For every image the poet also explains its context in the poem.
The poet does not want just to show his creative skills but he has a commitment and social outlook. He imagines that the waves try regularly to put the moon under siege .He ridicules their vain attempt but he tells his firm belief that a day or other the have-nots will succeed in their attempts to overthrow the hegemony of the aristocrats.
This single poem itself stands as a monumental evidence for the poetic genius of Vairamuthu.
He never wastes his time in praising or attacking any single individual or any organization.
It is quite clear that he wants a socialist set-up for the welfare of everybody, from his poems. His atheism does not hurt anybody.
Vairamuthu has given the Tamils a treasure-trove of literature.
It is our duty to read them and propagate the values insisted by the poet.
I am sure that if we pursue with consistency a golden era will usher in.