By Kamil V. Zvelebil; Jan Gonda (Editor)
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Additional info for A History of Indian Literature, Volume X: Dravidian Literature, Fasc. 1: Tamil Literature
The form is almost that of a folk-song with its repetitions, and in its relative simplicity. The earliest form was obviously a single bardic stanza in akaval metre forming a typical self-contained occasional tanippdtal; this gives way to ten verses forming a kind of unit as they occur in Ainkurunuru which seems to be the first departure from the simple tanippdttu on the road to complicated structures of the various prabandhas. Two very specific and characteristic aspects of the content of this poetry should be mentioned at this point: the place of nature79 in the poems, and the conception of eros.
Mullaippattu 'The Forest Song' is the shortest and one of the most beautiful of the songs. It contains 103 lines in akaval; its hero is anonymous; its poet Napputanar may be dated ca. 230 A. D. or somewhat earlier. The subjective element or akam is the patience and self-control shown by the heroine who is separated from her warrior-husband when he is away on a military campaign (lines 1-28 of the text). A warrior goes away during the summer promising to return home before the rains set in. The rains come; he has not returned.
F. BECK, The Study of a Tamil Epic, JTS 1 (Sept. 1972) 23-38. 42 Tamil Literature as transgressions and aberrations from established norms. They are fit only for slaves, servants, menial workers. As such, they were unsuitable for proper poetic treatment within the akam genre; and, indeed, they were left practically untouched by the bardic poets88. Only rarely, the treatment of sex was coarse and crude89. As a rule, sex was handled in a delicate way, never vulgar or obscene, though the akam poems are sometimes very sensuous, charged with eroticism, and containing sexual allusions; but always reserved and elegant.
A History of Indian Literature, Volume X: Dravidian Literature, Fasc. 1: Tamil Literature by Kamil V. Zvelebil; Jan Gonda (Editor)