Age of struggle Tamil poetry comes in English

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 November 2009, 09:01 GMT]
Eezham Tamil poetry since 1970s by three leading poets has been translated into English and for the first time appears in an exclusive volume, which is to be launched in Canada Saturday. One of the poets, Puthuvai Rathnathurai, regarded as Tamil National Bard, was last seen among the displaced moving towards internment camps during the closing days of the war in Vanni and was taken into custody by the Sri Lanka Army. He is reportedly kept in undeclared captivity under rigorous conditions.

Wilting laughter
Not by our tears
Wilting Laughter: Three Tamil Poets, an anthology of the verses of three contemporary Eezham Tamil poets, Puthuvai Rathnathurai, VIS Jayapalan and R Cheran, has been translated and edited by Chelva Kanaganayakam, Professor of English of the University of Toronto. The translator, earlier in 2001, edited Lutesong and Lament: Tamil Writing from Sri Lanka, a collection of modern Eezham Tamil creative writing.

The book release event will also feature a play, Not by Our Tears, based on the poems and focussing on Eezham Tamil history since 1979, including the internment of 300, 000 people.

The play Not by Our Tears, written by Cheran, directed by Dushy Gnanapiragasam and stage designed by multimedia designer Eugene Vincent (Karuna) is of a special genre of Tamil literary tradition known as Paa Naadakam, verse play or play in poetry, according to the organisers.

The event, taking place in a function at Robert Gill Theatre of the University of Toronto, is joint-sponsored by the Centre for South Asian Studies of the University of Toronto and the Canadian Tamil Congress.

 

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