Mystic poets sought to cross all boundaries and seek themselves in consonance with the cosmos. Translating their verses is an act of faith in the possibilities of poetry of another time, tongue, texture of language and vision of the sacred to be worlded in the now; it also marks the mystics’ continued relevance in contemporary consciousness.

8th century Tamil mystic Aandaal is known for her transgressive relationship with the divine and her intense awareness of the grace that permeates being.

These verses are from Aandaal’s second and last work, Naachiyar Tirumoli (The Sacred Songs of the Lady) composed when she was around fifteen years of age.

Aandaal employed complex Sangam Era (2BCE -4CE) poetic strategies: the eraichi (parallel meaning) and ullari ( hidden inset meaning) in her hymns that demand multiple interpretations. Each verse is like a verbal hologram.

Therefore, in my translation I give three versions of each verse. The first is a close rendering; the second explores mythological aspects while the third versioning seeks a possible third nuance.

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