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DateLine Sunday, 25 May 2008





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Writing poetry in contemporary society is a non-profitable exercise since `there is no money in poetry’. One eminent poet has responded to the above by saying that `there is no poetry in money’. Money and poetry are different whereas people give preference to money.

Pic :Kavindra Perera

According to a research by a group of students from a prestigious university, nowadays people, mostly the youth are interested in poetry and creative writing. It is really a glad news because a creative person is a treasure to his country. The service that a creative person can render to his country is immense.

Creativity and the interest for the creative writing are not found in everyone, and some find it difficult to find time to engage in creative writing. Writing poetry has drawn attention of many that is to say, mostly the youth.

Poets are found everywhere....but a good poet...? again a question arises.... what is the criteria to measure the quality of poetry? Shakespeare is said to be a great poet. William Wardsworth...Keats... Pope.. Yates... What about Gajaman Nona. We Sri Lankans can feel really honoured that we had such a good poetess. I refer to Yamuna Malini Perera, the modern Gajaman Nona, another competent and popular poetess.

She holds authorship to many a collection of poetry, short stories, novels, lyrics, youth novels, children’s literature which touches almost all levels of the community. She is a state award winning poetess who has an exclusive style of writing with whom I discussed about the rise of the interest for poetry and creative writing in modern society.

As I mentioned she too agrees that `there is no money in poetry’. I inquired from her the reason why she is engaged in poetry writing if there is no profit, I mean money, without which is hard to survive in a economised society. She elaborates `I in person have the innate ability for creative writing, especially poetry and lyrics writing which I discovered in me at a very young age.

I was rapacious to let my ability die within me so that I was determined in shaping my creativity. I do not expect a lot of money from poetry because I know it is impossible. Poetry and creative writing is my ruling passion and I devote some time from my busy schedule for that.’

As a profession, poetry writing is not well secured. She believes that too. She is the Assistant Advertising Manager at DSI. It’s a 9-5 job. I asked her how she finds time for creative writing `time for creative writing is limited but anyhow I make it. I get up early in the morning and devote some time for creative writing. I do it everyday. Perhaps at nighttimes I devote to creative writing and weekends too.

She is getting prepared to release a CD comprising lyrics she wrote. Her first CD was `Adaraya Sundara Waradaki’. When someone makes a request to write a lyric for him or her she first listens to the voice and then creates a suitable lyrics for that particular voice.

But if someone gives her a particular theme to write she is never hesitant to do that. She pens down her rhythmically flowing river of thoughts on a paper regardless who is going to voice her lyrics. She writes lyrics for veteran singers as well as for up and coming ones.

I have read her poetry in which `loneliness’ is mostly apparent. `I do not know where I stand if I were not gifted with the ability to write. Poetry writing is my friend which drives my loneliness away.

It has helped me to become a strong woman. I feel very comfortable on seeing my creative writings. When I devote my time more to poetry I do not feel time passing. Thus it helps to keep my mentality intact’.

She is a very reserved and self contained type of a character. I have seen her mostly in white or pale colour sarees. `After my husband died I felt I was left alone. That loneliness didn’t let me get attracted to fancy and ostentatious things. I enjoy my life of simplicity’. Her simplicity and quietness speak a lot about her. She doesn’t forget to add a word on amateur writers.

`They are very creative and talented. Most of the amateur poets feel the pulse of people and the nature. That is a good thing when it comes to creative writing. They should keep up writing. Although some amateur poets think that it is enough writing one or three poems and think that they are good poets. One should be mature and experienced to come up with good poetry which depicts the reality of the world’.

I asked her what’s her view on the opportunity that newspapers have given to amateur writers. Many newspapers dedicate more than one page for readers’ creativity.

She admires that and says `That’s very good for up and com. We have some how or other been able to obtain this facility and should let amateur and budding creative writers come up in the field. That’s a great motivation for writers when they see their poetry published in papers’.

`Amateurs should read more creative writings by old hands in the field. Apart from that it is a good practice to read old poetry such as `Sandesha Kavyas’.

She advises beginners not to expect prompt popularity from their creative writing. She stresses that writers must try to give a message to society through creative writing because it is a sharp weapon.

Her style of writing is very attractive and the language she uses is simple and easy to understand. `I rarely use high calibre words in my poetry or some other creative writing because I aim my creations for the ordinary people.

When high calibre words are used people are unable to feel the real sense’. When she starts writing, though she plans the plot beforehand when the thoughts flow she says she often changes the plot. The ultimate product is often a deviation from what she originally planned.

Poetry and lyrics writing are as close to her life as a petal to a flower. She believes that the creativity has been existing in her throughout many births in Samsara.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Mount View Residencies
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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