In the class of Poetry of 28 students of different Ethnic Origins, our teacher gave an assignment in translation of Asian Poetry; one being a famous 'Gami Kavi' into English:
"Matara Gange sitina Kimbulige Patiya
Thalla suduie, Belle gomara katiya
Yana Ena Paru, Nawagthagena sitiya
Minie Nokai Matara Kimbulige Patiya".
"Fat Crocadile's littleone in the river,
With white throte and decorated neck;
Boats that move up and down kept still.
Fat Crocadile's littleone will not eat Human flesh."
The translation of the rest of the Class more or less not much of a difference to mine. We were surpried to note the hearty laughter of ouer teacher - Miss Rivers, who explained the base of the poem.
Matara is a well known Town in Sri Lanka. At the bank
of the famous river there was a small resturant whose young daughter was pretty and not rough and arragont as the owner of the eatery that serve food, drinks, and other essenetials that cross the river; where all passing boats regularly stop over. Comparing the rough mother to the good natured daughter; the Poet praises her as the non eating human-flesh one; referring to the arragonce of the Bossy Mother.
Coming from down South, I felt guilty and pretend to be sad in my stupid translation. Noticing this Miss Rivers,
Keeping me within the context and mentioned; "At least Alfred shed 'Crocadile tears' as the saying goes"