Life as one beautiful metaphor | Daily News


Life as one beautiful metaphor

Title: Gahanu Hithak Saha Pirimi Hithak

Authors: Ayanthi Fernando and Nalin  Abeysekara


I had a wonderful opportunity to read interesting poetry entitled Gahanu Hithak Saha Pirimi Hithak (Female Heart and Male Heart) which can be a perfect introduction to contemporary poetry. The title of the poetry caught my eye immediately as I know authors usually title their books intending to give readers the best indication of what is inside.

With that curiosity in my mind, I turned the pages of the book, reading one poem after another, written by two poets, Ayanthi Fernando and Nalin Abeysekara who are well known to Sri Lankan readership. Although one should not judge a book by its cover, Samadi Rajakarunanayaka’s beautiful art pieces that run from the front cover page to the last made me even more curious to read the poetry at one go.

The first section of the book presents a series of poems written by Ayanthi who looked at our mundane life from a rather sarcastic point of view. Ayanthi who I see as an explorer of life appears to have a sharp wit to capture the life realities through critical observations. This is fascinating.

The poet gently makes readers open their minds to see life realities with some glimpse of what she intended to say through her pieces. Some of her poems made me laugh and reminisce due to their simplicity and beauty (see nubanathiwainuko-ma). Cleverly utilising mundane realities as beautiful metaphors, Ayanthi’s poetry touches and tests our heart and mind simultaneously. This section of the poetry is uplifting, meaningful and for me, this is what reading poetry is all about.

The second section, although it is impossible to summarise the poems in terms of themes as Nalin’s interests seem various at first, it provides a reader with a subtle flavour of symbolic language throughout. His poems encompass moments of silence that one can enjoy even if he or she has a lot of irons in the fire (see, paramarthaya). He looks beyond the obvious to celebrate the act of being. Some other poems appeared startling confessions, certainly dappled with relatable personal anecdotes, with deeper philosophical insights. For me, they are powerful sermons.

From the beginning, the poetry says beautiful narratives of life. It appeared that whilst Ayanthi’s pieces emerge from reflective thinking of mundane life, Nalin ponders them from a philosophical viewpoint. Together, they provide their readership with an opportunity to enjoy a collection of beautiful poems that funnels thoughts, encourages life reflections, rather what it means to be mundane and spiritual, all at once. To this end, this is beautiful poetry to enjoy and preserve for many years to come.


Reviewed by Dr Chamila Perera

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