The Cycle of Life in English and Sinhala

Indian Weavers is a beautiful poem by Sarojini Naidu that makes you remember the endless cycle of life.

Watch Pandith Amaradeva singing the Sinhala version, Sannaliyane, in this youtube video.

This is one of the few instances in which I can enjoy both the English and Sinhala versions side by side and not feel cheated out of the original richness that may be lost in translation. The Sinhala version is as lovely as the English one here. I am not sure whether Naidu wrote the original in English.

As for the original poem, here it is:

 

WEAVERS, weaving at break of day,
Why do you weave a garment so gay? . . .
Blue as the wing of a halcyon wild,
We weave the robes of a new-born child.

Weavers, weaving at fall of night,
Why do you weave a garment so bright? . . .
Like the plumes of a peacock, purple and green,
We weave the marriage-veils of a queen.

 

Weavers, weaving solemn and still,
What do you weave in the moonlight chill? . . .
White as a feather and white as a cloud,
We weave a dead man’s funeral shroud.

Sarojini Naidu

I got the text from PoemHunter.com. You can read more of Sarojini Naidu poems at PoemHunter.com. There are at least 50 there.

 

 

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