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áN âƒèÀ¬ìò è£ôˆF™î£¡ áN G蛉î¶. ÝM‚ ÈF™ Gô‹ ï´ƒAŠ «ðŒ ñ¬öJ™ àì™ H÷‰¶ àœÀ‹ ªõO»‹ b Í÷ Þ¼O¡ Üôø™. °ö‰¬îè¬÷, ñQî˜è¬÷ ªõœ÷‹ Þ¿ˆ¶ õ‰¶ bJ™ âPAø¶. Üè£ôˆF™ ªè£¬ô»‡«ì£‹ ÅöõóŠ 𣘈¶ G¡øõ˜èO¡ Gó£îóM¡e¶ å¼ àJóŸø è¬ì‚è‡ i„¬ê âP‰¶M†´ ¹¬è‰¶ ¹¬è‰¶ ºAô£è «ñŸ A÷‹H«ù£‹ è£çŠè£¾‚°ˆî£¡ î¡Â¬ìò ⿈¶‚è¬÷ˆ bJLì õ£Œ‚èM™¬ô Ýù£™ CõóñE âKˆ¶ M†ì£œ ܉îó ªõOJ™ èM¬î ÜNAø¶ ñŸøõ˜èÀ¬ìò ¹¬ù¾èœ àJ˜ ªðø ñÁ‚A¡øù. ♫ô£¼‹ «ð£Œ M†«ì£‹ è¬î ªê£™ô ò£¼‹ Þ™¬ô ÞŠªð£¿¶ Þ¼‚Aø¶ è£ò‹ð†ì å¼ ªð¼Gô‹ Ü «ñô£èŠ ðø‰¶ ªê™ô â‰îŠ ðø¬õò£½‹ º®òM™¬ô ï£ƒèœ F¼‹H õ¼‹ õ¬ó.

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Apocalypse [1999] In our own time we have seen the Apocalypse. The earth trembled to the dance of the dead; bodies burst apart in the wild storm; darkness screamed as everything caught fire inside and out. The last flood dragged out children and men and threw them on the flames. We died in an untimely hour. Glancing sidelong with our dying eyes at the helplessness of those who surrounded us, watching, we smouldered and smouldered then rose up in a smoke cloud. Kafka was denied the chance to set fire to his works. But Sivaramani burnt hers. Poetry is destroyed in mid-air. What others write now refuses to live. We have all gone away; there is no one to tell our story. Now there is only left a great land, wounded. No bird may fly above it until our return. [Uuzhi, 1999]

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ªð£¿¶ ꣌‰î¶ ªð£¿¶ ꣌‰î¶ õò™ ªõO‚° ܊𣙠ªð£¿¶ ꣌‰î¶ 裆®¡ GöL«ô ªð£¿¶ ꣌‰î¶ ޡ‹ ªð£Nò£î ñ¬öJ¡ «è£ðˆ¶‚°Š H¡ù£™, ñ‡E™ ¹ó‡®¼‚°‹ ËŸÁ‚ èí‚è£ù àì™èO¡ «ñ™, è¬óJ™ 嶃Aò ¶‡®‚èŠð†ì å¼ è£L¡ e¶. ªð£¿¶ ꣌‰î¶ ÞöŠ¬ð»‹ ¶òóˆ¬î»‹ ⃰ °MŠð¶ â¡Á ªîKò£ñ™ «è£÷ ܬø‚°œ ð¶ƒè å¼ Í¬ô¬òˆ «î®ˆ ¶®ˆî CÁ ðø¬õJ¡ 安î Þø‚¬èèœ e¶ âù¶ è‡a¼‚°œ ªð£¿¶ ꣌‰î¶ 裬ôJ™ îòƒAˆ îòƒA õ‰¶ ªê£™Aø£˜èœ: àì™ A¬ì‚èM™¬ô.

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Sunset [1999] The sun has set across the spreading fields the sun has set in the shadow of the woods the sun has set beyond the anger of the rain which is yet to fall upon the hundreds of bodies sprawled upon the sand upon a severed leg alone upon the sea-shore the sun has set. Upon the broken wings of a quivering small bird which does not know where to heap its loss and sorrow and searches for a corner in a small cage where it can lurk; within my tears the sun has set. At dawn they arrive with faltering words: The body has not been found.

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«èœ «èœ âŠð®Š ¹í˜õ¶ â¡ð¬îŠ 𣋹èOì‹. âŠð®Š ¹ô˜õ¶ â¡ð¬î‚ 裬ôJì‹. ªð£Á¬ñ â¡ð¶ â¡ù â¡ð¬î ñóƒèOì‹. èù¾èÀ‚° õ‡íƒèœ à‡ì£ â¡ð¬îˆ É‚èˆF™ ïìŠðõ˜èOì‹. è‡a˜ˆ¶Oèœ C¬ø‚Ãìƒè÷£è ñ£Pò¶ âŠð® â¡ð¬î ÜèFèOì‹. ðò‹ â¡ð¶ â¡ù â¡ð¬î ï´ ÞóM™ Þ‰î ïèK™ ïì‚è «ï˜Aø èÁŠ¹ˆ «î£™ ñQî˜èO캋 ªð‡èO캋. «ñ£è‹ ºŠð¶ èœî£ù£ â¡ð¬î Í‚°ˆF ÜE‰î è£îô˜èOì‹. º¿GôM™ ð£ôˆF¡W› à¬ø‰î ð£ŸèìL¡ 𣴋 e¡èœ âƒ«è «ð£ŒM†ìù â¡ð¬î‚ 裘è£ôˆFì‹. ªñ£NJ¡ îQ¬ñJL¼‰¶ HøŠð¶ â¡ù â¡ð¬îˆ F¬ê ªî£¬ôòŠ ¹ô‹ªðò˜‰îõ˜èOì‹. ¶òóˆF¡ ê£Á HN‰î îQ¬ñ âŠð®J¼‚°‹ â¡ð¬î â¡ ðQŠð£¬ø»œ ªï¼ŠH¡ àJ˜„ ²õ†¬ì âP‰îõOì‹, ÜõOì‹ ÞõOì‹. ÞóM¡ è¬ìC óJ½‹ «ð£ŒM†ì HŸð£´, î‡ìõ£÷ƒèÀ‹ °OK™ ¶®ˆ¶Š H÷‚è 埬ø„ Cø°ì¡ ¬èJ™ 埬øŠ Ì¾ì¡ è£ˆF¼Šð¶ âŠð® â¡ð¬î â¡Qì‹ «èœ.

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Ask [1995] Ask snakes, how to copulate. The morning, how to dawn. Trees, the meaning of patience. Ask sleep-walkers what colour dreams are. Refugees, how their tears became their prison cells. Women and Blacks who must walk the streets of this town at night, what fear is. Lovers who wear nose-studs whether lust lasts for only thirty days. The monsoon, where the fish have all disappeared, fish which once sang in the still milk-ocean beneath the bridge, on full-moon nights. Ask a lost diaspora, what is born out of the loneliness of language. Ask her, who flung a living ember of fire upon the ice-cliffs of my life, about the quintessential loneliness of grief. Ask her. And her. Ask me, when the last train of the evening has gone and the railway lines shiver and break in the cold, what it is to wait with a single wing and a single flower.

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Excerpt from In a Time of Burning by Cheran  

This selection of poems by Cheran, one of the most important poets writing in Tamil today, charts the civil war in Sri Lanka of more than th...