Examine the thematic pre-occupation of the poem, vanity.
The poem is a warning to nII1kIrul to tip into the wealth of experience of our ancestors, otherwise, ill we do is vanity. The ancestors have seen it all, the sufferings, sorrow, sadness and the good times. Infact, our ancestors have known the whole of life to the extent that if we refuse to heed to their warnings, we will be pitifully be alone. The ancestors have lived and encountered various experiences. If they open up to tell all their experiences, we will simply laugh.
“If we tell, gently, gently
All that we shall one day have to tell
Who then will hear our voices without laughter?
From the beginning of times, the ancestors cried out against their torments, they clamoured, their anger was pitiful. Yet mankind paid deaf ears to their situation. The ancestors have even wondered which eyes will watch the largemouths shaped, by laughter. Our ancestors speak in clumsy voices”, meaning that they have veiled their experiences in things that will now require interpretation. For instance, the masquerade shields our ancestors and from that position or situation of anonymity, they communicate in their guttural voices.
When these dead people speak, we are deaf to their cries.
“When our dead come with our dead,
When they have spoken to us…
Our ears were deaf to their cries… They have left on the earth, their cries”. In all, human experience counts to nothing if we fail to heed the voice of our ancestors because we would have lost our hope of protection against the reversal of life’s fortunes.