Letter

Dr M . Murugesapillai M.B.B.S (CEY)
Main Street, Kalmunai

14/06/89

My Dear Sivalingam,

Sadadcharam was kind enough to lend me a copy of your recently published Poetry book. I am really happy to see the book, the format and the printing.

I would consider a poem only if it provokes some stormy feeling in me, that feeling is indescribable. It is not an understanding of the meaning etc. Those things come later. The poet wants to give experience to some powerful emotion that even the minor incident would stir him. It is, I believe, not intellectual but something beyond it. To an interested reader the poem should produce in him at least nearness of emotion or feeling that provoked the poet. Your poetry has, I far as I am concerned, achieved that in a great measure.

I write this to congratulate you for that. I think that personality of the human being is not static (Perceived in Greek is mask). I see the changing personality in your poems. They reflect the external changes in society and the internal changes in your mind & heart. I see the tragedy on our times and the beauty of earlier times in your poetry.

I wish to comment only one poem now – “The meaningless things.” I felt deeply about it. What we thought are meaningful have become meaningless. What we thought are meaningless have only true beauty that makes life worth it. May be it is due to the impact of our present day. The torture of Jesus is a masterpiece of reflection of our time.

You are still young. Goethe started his masterpiece Faust when he was eighteen and finished it when he became eighty. I hope many more poems will come out of you. As you pointed out we are in a period where the humanist and the intellectual are silenced or if one breaks through that he will be silenced forever. It cannot be always. Change is truth. I hope you will create a small epic on this sad page on our history.

I had an interesting experience when I was reading your book. We occasionally mistake one person for another because of likeness of each other and when one goes near we see the difference. I had a similar experience when reading your poetry. Sometimes I saw Samuel Beckett, sometimes Eliot. Even கானல் வாரி and in some places the crisp style of தீருமுலர். You are none of them but almost one of them. That individuality is remarkable. If your poems are in English the book will be in international bookstores. People are quarrelling with this is new poetry or old poetry. Thank God I do not know grammar of Tamil Poetry. So that aspect does not touch my mind. I would like to call this poetry of our time. The Poems could have been arranged in a chronological order. That is a near math anyway. The price of the book is Rs 75/=. You may give free copies to libraries. Some notes about a few poems might be useful to students of poetry. I wish to see the continuum of your work.

With Best Regards

Dr M . Murugesapillai M.B.B.S (CEY)
Main Street, Kalmunai
14/06/89

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