To Prevent an Exile: Conserving Lakdas Wikkramasinha
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Sri Lanka, Sept. 13 -- In my early-20s, two poets I had to read as a university student went on to leave a lasting impression: one was T.S. Elliot and the other - Lakdas Wikkramasinha (1941-1978). The work of both poets was taught to us by Nihal Fernando, which is another experience. Though I have so far failed to locate the exact source, I have read somewhere that Fernando considered Lakdas Wikkramasinha to be the "finest poet" (composing in English) the country has produced. While, on one hand, it is sad that a country's leading poet in a particular language is one who has been dead for 42 years (in which time, one supposes, that language was alive and was further advanced), it is also probable that Wikkramasinha's title-contender has c...
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