Five frontline Tamil poets—Cheran, Jayapalan, Yesurasa, Latha, Ravikumar—lament the loss of their land, their language and thousands of people.
What happened between 8 and 18 May 2009 in Eelam? Did no one write diaries? Did no one have cameras? Were there no poets there? Not a single artist? Whatever happened on that last day? What is the poetry that can emerge from a ‘wounded landmass’ where ‘no bird is able to fly’, where people ‘ate death’?
Nobody answered our questions.
To ask one of the dead, at least,
I went to the mortuary.
My corpse lay there,
The ribcage apart
and in place of the heart
there was a grinding stone.
Translated into English for the first time by Meena Kandasamy and Ravi Shanker, these introspective poems tell us how and why ‘waking is another dream’ in Sri Lanka.
‘A courageous act of testimony to the genocidal war against the Tamil population of Sri Lanka’ – Biblio
Cheran, Jayapalan, Yesurasa, Latha, Ravikumar Meena Kandasamy and Ravi Shanker (translators)