The Astute Poetic Wayfarer
By Shenal Rajakarunanayake
His poetry is an esplanade where readers saunter to find a reality which isn't being demarcated by any societal restrictions. His poetry takes you through a journey where the readers are bestowed with minimalism to wander while appreciating the wonder of life through the panes of eyes. He hardly signals "Red" yet inevitably the sceneries request a pause. In a second's time, the scenery gets profoundly painted with his words and then mojo of his poetry is generated. The poetic touch of laissez-faire in his usage of vivid unaccustomed metaphors bring renaissance to his poetry facilitating the readers to ramble across different walks of lives. This heralds the consciousness of reality in the aisles of creativity of his poetry while bringing the reader to a serendipitous encounter. Undoubtedly, Galu Para Diga Heluna Sina Salu (The scattered smiles across the Galle road) is a must to your poetry collection which requires more conscious and fervent reading from its readership.
"Gaalu Paara Diga Heluna Sina Salu" (Scattered Clothes of Smiles on the Galle Road)
Q: Your poetry cannot be positioned or rather fit into a frame. Was it done consciously and what were the reasons?
A. As far as I believe, as an artist, I am here to guide or rather to assist the reader in finding their own path. I always prefer to transfer that comfort of liberalism to the reader to make hisher choice as per their beliefs. I hardly find any importance in bombarding readers' minds with my own opinions rather is it more aesthetic to let the reader to find his or her own truth more collaboratively and cooperatively than being the sole trader of emotions.
In poetry, I always prefer to be passive, through which I intentionally create an immense space for the reader to embrace the poem in hisher own way, own style. As far as I am concerned, it is their right and none can invade someone's thinking through unsolicited interventions. So does poetry. This was done consciously as well as intentionally to provide a greater space for readers' thinking and imagination rather stagnating, to my personal experience which have been crafted.
Q: In your prologue, you have mentioned that poetry itself cannot be used in battle? What are the reasons?
A. Poetry is an art of persuasion yet it is best suited and can only be used to combat the struggles of one's soul. It cannot be used or rather it is incapable of combating battles in this physical world in a constant manner. It is more of a momentous healing which can be transpired eventually. Yet in the light of reality, we need to ensure the survival and sustainability, hence poetry itself is incapable of finding answers for everything. It needs to linked with many more facets to ensure its survival. That is the bitter truth. Having said that none could deny the fact of its relevance and importance in dealing with human mind set. Though it is momentous, the impact it makes would have a ripple effect. That's where the universality of poetry becomes important and crucial.
Ira Res Hedila Yayi
Kotuwe Tap ekata..... ( Oya wageima thamai Yaal devith...Pg – 46)
(The rays of sun gets wiped off from the tap at the Fort station)
Sanda Diya kara Anda
Nisala Kaha Iri matha
Mihiri katu akuru peli
Issara Liyuu Digu Liyumaka.....(Nawathumata aa Perani Pemwathiya – Pg 51)
(Sweet scribbles of a long written letter cross the road on the zebra lines drawn with moonlight)
Q: In most of your poetry, unaccustomed metaphors have been used. Has this been done to add more colour or glamour?
A. Well, it is true that I have used many unaccustomed metaphors throughout my poetry collection since It came along the way. I do believe poetry needs to secure its poetic and aesthetic value through these technicalities where readers could be driven into a serendipitous encounter. Metaphors can also be used as symbols to drive the readers in different avenues as per their beliefs while letting them to embrace the poem according to their own point of view.
I consider metaphors as a junction which leads the walker to many directions. In a way it eases the task as a poet I have to perform, while restoring a huge responsibility in return. Whatsoever, I consider metaphors or the phrases must be used consciously to ensure its message. It also has to generate synergistic benefits to bring a poem to a different state of mind.
Hakbeli Hadawath Dekak
Sippi Katu uda Pem Karanawaa
Umbei Keherel Wage Geta Gesuna
RaLu Werala Dhiga
Paa kara Heriya
Dukadhulu Samanga Sina Salu
Yali Goda gasana Dina Penapidu Samanga
Boho Dhura Aetha ya............(Gaalu Paara Diga Helunu Sina Salu – Pg-38)
(Two conch shell hearts love eachother in a distant island. Like the knotted curls of your hair, the sea crashes shore vehemently. The days where the tears of sorrow and the shawls of happiness were drifted in the breeze, would never come back any closer...)
Q: What really scattered along the Galle Road: Smiles or the irony of harsh reality?
A. Indeed, it is the irony of harsh reality which has been scattered the smiles along the way of life. This brings us a smile because it is focused on us in an individual level. That touch of idiosyncrasy is expected from the readers, to retreat and look at themselves from a mirror and understand how satirical the life is? How harsh the reality is? How tedious the life is? and moreover how fragile the life is? Basically this was my expectation and readers are allowed to embrace it in accordance with their own realities. All the symbols that have been placed combat with fantasies in which we are more comfortable and after all, it is a pity if we cannot fathom the truth.
Q: According to you, what is poetry and the vision of a poet?
A. Unlike the other sources or forms of art, poetry cannot be decorated excessively. It needs to be remained as pure as it is to ensure its universality. It is a different spectrum of art which needs to be accepted differently. It isn't a one-way process; it is a dual or multiple process which indeed requires both writer and reader to get involved. As far as I believe, the content gets enriched through many facets faced during the process positively facilitating the readership. Further, poetry comes within and links with souls, hence no matter how hard one could try, it cannot be mechanically inclined. It deserves a natural process which requires time, patience and understanding.
Neither poetry is mine, nor it isn't. It is a paradox, complex phenomenon, only can be understood in person or individually. Basically it is a spirit which contains the most distilled emotions. Hence it is subtle, fragile and could only be held tenderly in one's heart.
Not everybody is required to read poetry, because it is unfair to make such request. In a dynamic diversified world, poetry will be embraced by only few. Yet its value will never get fade away. People are given the freedom of choice to be picky in enriching themselves through various sources of art. Hence it is very critical when it comes to the vision of a poet. The vision of a poet would decide the pathway through which the reader would walk into to gain wisdom. This is involuntarily bestowed upon the poets; therefore, poets do have to be honest with their own creativity.
In almost every poem, there is a subtle touch of Grey, yet you have created a spectrum of colours through your poetic imagination. Doesn't it effect the poetic experience and its essence?
Well, when it comes to poetry: as far as I am concerned, a poet cannot be picky over hisher experiences. Poetry can be enforced rather it must be born within. Poetry generates deep inside as a result of many shattering experiences through which the poet has to walk through. This plausible shock could lead the poet to pen hisher thoughts giving a different touch of feeling. It is needless to say the importance of it being similar to the incident, because there won't be any creativity other than the mere sense of reporting. The difference between mere reporting and poetry comes along with creativity, language and other technicalities. These are needed to enhance the aesthetic value of the poetry.
Mada Kipunu Hiru Eliya
Midee Panthiye Thal athu Sewali Matha
Irunu Then Maeth kara
Ebei Hiswa giya Guru Putuwata
Sinaasi Kata Konin Nakkale ta........ (Ape Guruthuma Naewith – Pg 34)
(The frenzied rays of sun glued on the roofs covered with Tal leaves fall through the holes while sarcastically smiling at the empty teacher's chair)
Q: As paintings, your poetry is vivid, splendid and gives different meanings. Is it a result of being a painter?
A. Yes, it may be the reason. Yet as an artist, I don't think it is necessarily required to have clear cut definitions rather we can find our own way. May it be a painter or a poet, what truly matters at the end is his craft and its uniqueness. An artist has the right to choose the best possible and more suited form of art to represent his ideology. I use the both, hence obviously there could be a mix which I think as an assistance for the readership to embrace the truest essence of a poem.
Personally I would much prefer to experience the conceptual pieces of art work while appreciating the reality. I need the both ends and my creativity is generated in between. In poetry, I try my best to paint the words and create a unique sense of revelation irrespective of its genre.
Q: In your anthology, you creatively talk about the tragedy between dreams & reality, the never ending relationship between happiness and sorrow through which you showcase the entire political scenario of our system. In such a context, don't you think it requests the reader to engage in a more responsible conscious reading?
A. Of course yes. It requests the reader to engage in such a reading to embrace the truest essence. Simply its importance comes along with its content and the socio-political context where readers are requested to be more aware and conscious about what is happening around. As artists, it is our duty to open up the blind or closed eyes, yet it must be done subtly without any expectation of undue advantages. This collection could be read and enjoyed by any, yet in order to embrace the truest essence reader must link its soul with the poetry and let the synergy create the magic. If it is correctly touched, I am quite confident that you would feel the aroma of this poetry even with closed eyes while traveling from Fort to Galle along the Galle Road.
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