"Red Lilies and Frightened Birds is a collection of poems in praise of the three ancient Tamil royal dynasties—Cheras; Cholas and Pandyas. Translated from the early medieval Tamil classic Muttollayiram; these beautifully crafted verses retain a surprisingly contemporary tone—a testament to their enduring appeal over the centuries. While some of them are odes to the splendour of the king's country and city; his prowess in war; and the ruining of the enemy country; others reveal how young women; deeply infatuated with the king; pine and long for him. M.L. Thangappa's translation brilliantly brings to life the playful inventiveness and heady imagery of the original verses. This edition also includes an illuminating introduction by A.R. Venkatachalapathy which places this classic in its historical and cultural context."