a classical Tamil poetic work, is the seventh book in the Sangam literature
Sangam literature refers to a body of classical Tamil literature created between the years c. 600 BCE to 300 CE. This collection contains 2381 poems composed by 473 poets, some 102 of whom remain anonymous The period during which these poems were composed is commonly referred to as the Sangam...
Ettuthokai– 'The Eight Anthologies' - Classical Tamil poetic work - form part of the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology series of the Sangam Literature...
. It contains 400 Akam
(subjective) poems dealing with matters of love and separation. Other names for Akananuru
("the long anthology"), Ahappattu
, and Agananuru
As many as 145 poets are said to have contributed to Akananuru collection. Perunthevanaar, who translated the Mahabharatham
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....
into Tamil, is one of the authors.
compiled this anthology at the behest of the Pandya king Ukkiraperuvazhuthi
It is highly likely that the poems in Akananuru collection were prevalent independently before they were collected and categorized in this present form. The anthology is dated to around the first and the second century C.E. The poems probably are of a much earlier date. At least few poems must belong to 5th century BC to 3rd BC depending on the structure of poems. There were mentions of nanda and mauryas in few poems, which eventually date these poems to 4th to 3rd centuries BC.
This book comes under the Akam
(subjective) category in its subject matter. Ancient Tamil poems was categorised into the broad categories of Akam
(அகம்) - Subjective, dealing with matters of the heart and human emotions, and Puram
(புறம்) - Objective, dealing with the tangibles of life such as war, politics, wealth, etc. The poems of this anthology are of the Akaval meter
In poetry, metre is the basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse. Many traditional verse forms prescribe a specific verse metre, or a certain set of metres alternating in a particular order. The study of metres and forms of versification is known as prosody...
In the poems on Akam, the aspects of love of a hero and a heroine are depicted. The story of love is never conceived as a continuous whole. A particular moment of love is captured and described in each poem as the speech of the hero or the lady-companion or somebody else.
Akananuru contains 401 stanzas and is divided into three sections
- Kalintruyanainirai (களிற்றுயானைநிறை), 121 stanzas
- Manimidaipavalam (மணிமிடைபவளம்), 180 stanzas
- Nittilakkovai (நித்திலக்கோவை), 100 stanzas