Wimalaratne Kumaragama
Posted on August 29th, 2011
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Garvin Karunaratne

A translation of some of  Wimalaratne Kumaragama’s verses will serve a tribute to this famous poet who parted from us 43 years ago. It is from “Parinama” in his collection “Visiwunu Taru”

In the grim afternoon heat, when the World was all ablaze
In a corner of our backyard, bathed in sweat, we cooked a fun-meal
How did she know that I gazed at her in all her gleam,
She did shine like a moon, shimmering in the dew.

Her eyes gave away her innocence,
Her softness lay in the petals of blossoms
Both the Sun and the Moon, first graced her humble abode
Her beaming smile was everywhere

 Next, I saw her in her teens,
Shining- a golden star in a milky ocean,
As she strode around, on the sands she trod on
Her footsteps were embossed in colour

 The bashful smile from the corner of her eyes
Made wild flowers bloom
Her melliflous voice enlivened life
That rhythm forever doth live.

 The years did pass by and I met her again
A Woman in her pristine glory, adorned with four kids,
A Sal Tree, in full bloom
Bountifully splendour. in her gait, and elegance

 The day I saw her for the last time,
Her friends were all mourning around her
I wished: May you may be happy on your path, wherever,
I dedicated my heart to be her tomb

 ( I have found it difficult to translate the full ideas conveyed by Kumaragama in his poem. Kumaragama did know how to use words, similes and metaphors that were vibrant, full of associated ideas that successfully enabled a listener to picture what he said.. . To my mind, he is easily the foremost Sinhala poet of the Modern Period. From my book, “Modern Sinhala Poetry “1963, due to be republished by Godages in 2011.

 Garvin Karunaratne

One Response to “Wimalaratne Kumaragama”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Thank you, Mr Karunaratne, for this delicate and sweet piece on loving from afar (am I correct in this assumption ?). Some words may be lost in translation, but you have caught the essence, I think.

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