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Ponmudiyar – Tamil Poetess Of Third Sangam Period

Ponmudiyar was a Tamil poetess of the third Sangam period (500 BCE to 250 CE). There poems of Ponmudiyar were included in the book of collected poems called Purananuru, which belongs to the Ettuthokai group of books.

Purananuru is a collection of 400 poems, written by 157 poets, vividly describing different aspects of the glorious pasts of Tami Nadu, including social customs, culture and traditions, the affairs of the state, the kings and their braver, etc.

Among the three poems of Ponmudiyar, the first poem (number 299 of Purananuru) describes the war between two kings, citing how the horses of the king of the smaller kingdom, through given little but balanced food, fared better than the overfed horses of the king of the bigger kingdom.

The second poem (number 310 of Purananuru) describes the heroism of a youth during a war, whose father had been killed in an earlier war. He dies in the war but was proud to have the arrow on his chest and not at his back. The poem also describes the feelings of the mother who sees her son dying.

The third poem (number 312 of Purananuru) describes the duty of parents to bring up brave warriors, the duty of the king to inculcate love of one’s country and the duty of the individual to fight for one’s country.

Ponmudiyar was born in a warrior family and live in the northern region of Kuttanadu in the kingdom of Chera Nadu. The present-day village Vellattirinadu in the state of Kerala was named Ponmudinallur in the past.