The Two Female Artists Behind Pen-Pal-Poetry | Daily News


The Two Female Artists Behind Pen-Pal-Poetry

Poetry has been around for millennia and used as a creative and meaningful means of communication even before the written word existed. The earliest poems were memorized and passed down between generations through word-of-mouth. Much of the ancient poetry was recorded in writing as myths, legends, and heartfelt prayers, written to detail actual events. Poets held high status in many societies, and the people held them in high regard. Poets were able to describe the complexities of life; the highs, the lows, and the wonders of being alive. Poems help explain human emotions and feelings such as betrayal, bewilderment, loss, love, revenge, and wonder. Poetry engages with readers, or listeners, at a spiritual level because of the emotional impact it has on us.

This emotional impact still makes poetry one of the popular forms of literature today, as it has been for thousands of years. Poetry still deeply resonates with people because poets can always use words to describe the feelings that most people struggle to express themselves. Maybe we are sent a link to a poem in an email, and clicking it opens our minds to how these words succinctly and powerfully express our deepest feelings.

We often keep our thoughts and feelings inside and very often try to hide them even from ourselves. On the contrary, poetry either writing it or reading it, is an incredibly rewarding experience. It helps with expressing our most profound and private thoughts or feelings. Poetry provides relief for the burdens we face in our lives each day.

Listening has become a popular means of consuming poetry, with forms such as Spoken-Word Poetry and Slam Poetry. Of course, orally communicating poetry is nothing new, and this was how poems were delivered in the past. Spoken poetry events, performances, and slam competitions are being conducted worldwide with increasing popularity.

Like most other events, the COVID-19 meant that many slam poetry events were cancelled. The situation led to many slam poets taking to the internet to deliver their craft. One such poet is Hasitha Adhikariarachchi, who created a YouTube-hosted poetry album with the help of Yashodara Kaluarachchi. This beautiful and meaningful collection is called PenPalPoetry, and it is a stunning audio and visual presentation of the art of poetry.

Hasitha Adhikariarachchi works as an IT professional during the day and writes at night. Whenever she can, Hasitha enjoys writing poetry. Born in Sri Lanka, she now works in Australia as a Technical Lead with a major bank. Hasitha’s poetry successes include her winning the 2017 New South Wales Poetry Slam Australia. It is not only poetry that she creates, but she has also written short fiction, monologues, and one-act plays.

Some of Hasitha's work has been published in Sri Lanka's Write to Reconcile 2 anthology. She frequently recites her poetry at slams, passionately spreading the beauty and positive messages within her poems. To reach as broad an audience as possible, led her to collaborate with Yashodara Kaluarachchi, who is an animator and a digital artist from Sri Lanka. 

Yashodara has been drawing early on , and she turned to digital platform after studying in the IT field. Then on she has been working as a freelance digital artist. She finds it interesting to create illustrations inspired from books , quotes and anything that feels close to her. And she believes animations provide a greater scope of expression. Animation is a vast subject and Yashodara is quite new to it but she intends to learn and experiment more.

The two create beautifully crafted, meaningful, and impactful videos with voice-overs of women reading poetry. You can view these on YouTube by searching for PenPalPoetry.

When you watch these videos, the unique talent of the poet and the animator are evident. Their fantastic joint venture opens up the beauty of poetry to a massive and diverse audience. 

Practically every society, religion, culture, and generation have experienced poetry in some form. People have been inspired by poetry throughout time regardless of age, nationality, or social background. It is a means of communication that transcends all boundaries.

We all have similar experiences, feelings, and emotions. Poetry helps us to make sense of these experiences; love, joy, loss, sadness, etc. These are things that have no fixed meaning or definition; they are experienced differently by everyone, and poetry helps people to interpret their feelings. Poetry provides us with a window into our souls, allowing us to view ourselves, our emotions, and our experiences. A poem can speak differently to each of us, reflecting our thoughts and feelings.

Through her writing, Hasitha strives to distil the raw beauty and attraction of poetry together with compelling visual, music, and speech. Poetry can be a conduit for healing, inspiration, and self-awareness. Through PenPalPoetry, Hasitha aims to express poetry's beauty, celebrate life, and help explain everything that makes us human.


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