Heights of a flight | Daily News


Heights of a flight

Kamani Jayasekera has published nearly 16 books in English, both in short stories and poetry since 2000 until this year. Her books are normally published by S Godage & Brothers (Pvt)Ltd. Panels of critics have recognized her special talents in awarding Literary Awards. She gained at least seven awards.

She is an academic working for the Kelaniya University. She teaches Greek and Roman Literature in the Department of Western Classical Culture.

Apart from creative writing, she has written books on other subjects under her fete, which are also interesting.

Her latest book is titled Fly High. This collection has 40 poems. Her style of witting is different from other academic poets. It is why I like some of her poems.

In Literary Criticism, appreciation first is important before one attempts to critically analyze a literary work.

Poetry is an awareness of social consciousness and depiction of lifestyle and the condition in society. Besides, it is also entertaining and gives pleasure to the reader.

Instead of analyzing each of her poems, let me give illustrations of her poetic imagination and effective use of language that to me are original and fresh.

The purpose is to enable the reader to read her poems in full of what she says in her poems.

I like to mention her full poem, The Industry, to familiarize her style.

“The manager of the resort

In his linen trousers

Cotton shirt and matching tie

Watched the garden hand

Drag the heavy equipment

From the Scorching sun


In an undertone warned him

‘To smile all the time’

‘Can you not remember the training?’

When in the hospitality trade,

The smile is the most important’

‘I’m smiling’ he retorted and

Meeting apologetically eyes

As I sipped my cooled soft drink

Broke into a warm bright smile’

She captures the mood of the gardener in this simple narrative.

There is plenty of sarcasm in her poems: Crossing Path, Marks-ism for instance. And many more.

Philosophical too. ‘Amidst a crowd, yet pathetic not to realize, that you are alone, while many may surround you.’ (Survival).

I like this poem well:

(The Terror attack of 21s of April 2019)

The hands of the clock had stopped at nine-fifteen

And with it the lives of victims, tranquillity and

The sense of security stability, ease, and confidence,

Peace in the country with the belief that all is well.

The bitter truth of futility enforced on humanity

That life was but dew drops on a blade of grass-

A reality no amount of religious preaching had convinced

Until the rude shock of the devastation

Not by nature, but the man most unkind against man

Innocent victims of n act ell planned with the intention

Though aim and objective not certain or meet rationale

Only the tower stood tall through the rabble of the hollow’

On ‘A Tsunami?’

It started in the deep sea

Nothing visible on the surface

Calm, yet hiding the disturbance

That occurred near the bottom

Expanding and growing in waves

With time inevitable, expanding

And growing in the form of waves

With time inevitable in volume

Gathering strength and ferocity

To rise and crash repeatedly as

Walls of darkness on the

Unsuspecting shore and beyond

Taking as victims the innocent

Unconscious of their predicament

A might that they had hitherto

Un comprehended in attraction.

There is another self-explanatory poem. ‘Cry ‘kukuku, Kukuku!!’

She who had been the pride of the clan

Whom the youthful had held many a fight over

Majestic in stature and wonder to behold

While her teats oozed with a creamy richness

And the calf, though not without pangs of hunger

Desperately tried to make her get up for she was

The only possession she had for defence against Man


Here is another funny story on the campus ’The Story’

It was rumoured that Harsha used to recite

The same story to each batch of fresher’s

May be pit them at ease regarding his colleague

The story goes this -

‘Once upon a time’ as all stories go

Gunda had roughly caught him by his collar

In the staff common room and had shouted

“I heard that you had been telling people

Some stories about my wife” The wife incidentally had been a student of the same Department.

“Yes, had been” the prompt reply

“I told them what a good girl she was,

I can recall it if you insist”

“Don’t you dare!!”

Had been the threat that followed.


I will stop here.

You would enjoy the rest of the poems too because they are simple and interestingly put by an academic who doesn’t want to flash her erudition in complex jargon in the name of literary criticism.

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