In the ancient Tamil country, the Vaiyai was much more than a mighty river rushing towards the sea. People knew the river intimately and lived their lives upon its banks. In these exquisite poems from the distant past (second to eighth century CE), we glimpse the ebb and flow of everyday life: the bathing, the water games, the lovers' quarrels and the sacred rituals. Breathtaking in their descriptive power and graceful in their celebration of sensuality, the Vaiyai poems from the Paripāṭal anthology delight our senses and give us insight into a world long past. In V.N. Muthukumar and Elizabeth Segran's radiant new translation, the Vaiyai River comes alive to a new generation of readers.