Ruwan Bandujeewa's 3 poems are like pearls from the island country

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Ruwan Bandujeewa's 3 poems are like pearls from the island country

Poetry translated from the Sinhalese

Translated from the Sinhalese by Chamini Kalathunga

May Be So

For comrade trees
to come to fruition
the toxic niyagala vine
might have sucked
the venom from the soil


Vestigial Mountains

Their eyes brimmed with prairies
there are vestigial mountains
that mumble alone
oblivious to the clouds



Approaching the
rose garden
the princess ordered

the gardener
to grub and burn
every weed

staring at
the barely visible
grass flowers

that mean no harm
he released
a heavy sigh


Ruwan Bandujeewa is a contemporary Sri Lankan poet loved by many Sinhalese readers. His poetry collection මීළඟ මීවිත (Next Sweet Wines) was first published in 2013 and is a best seller, now in its sixth print.

Chamini Kulathunga is a Sri Lankan translator, working with contemporary Sinhalese literature. She is a graduate of Iowa Translation Workshop. She was a visiting fellow at Cornell University's South Asia Program in the Summer of 2019, and is the blog editor and a staff member of the editorial board of Exchanges: Journal of Literary Translation. Her works have appeared in Exchanges and DoubleSpeak (forthcoming), literary journals dedicated to translated literature.

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