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Dr. Ruwan Ekanayake
“Poetry is for our highest mood when we wish to be with the gods’’
So observed Oscar Wilde, expressing with characteristic felicity the sentiment, shared by many of us who of times turn to the arts to find repose for our troubled minds. it is not solely the aesthetic aspect of poetry, however which pleases and soothes our minds but also the intellectual pleasure that we derive when we glimpse a solution to a particularly trouble-some problem trough the poetic vision that helps us to attain at least the lowest of those ‘higher moods’ the Irish wit was talking about. It is here I think that we must appreciate the poems of Dr. Mendis for they touch both emotion and intellectual faculties of our minds. While reading through the poetic creations of Dr. Lalith Mendis my thoughts spontaneously flew back to the writings of the Rev. W. S. Senior “the bard of Lanka. The themes of both Rev. Senior and Dr. Mendis show the same empathy with the land of Lanka and its nature. Admittedly agency loans the problems selected are very different but the sympathetic analyses and poetic technique are strikingly similar. I found it as refreshing to read Dr. Lalith Mendis’s poems as to be re reading the well known and well loved poems of the Rev. Senior.
Dr. Mendis’s themes are diverse. For most authors they would indeed be difficult ones too. The ill kept density Roads the provinces and ports of Sri Lanka and his musical creations Apeksha and Sadeeptha are but a few random selections of the topics that have inspired Dr. Mendis to put pen to paper and these few topics serve to demonstrate the unusual headings he has utilized to write poems, all of which have a powerful message to convey to most ligaments of contemporary society but specifically the professionals in those troubled times.
I have been privileged to know Dr. Lalith Mendis for near 30 years, commencing from my internship days with the professor of medicine when Dr. Mendis was my immediate senior officer. Over the years I have come to admire and appreciate his intellect which is both incisive and perspective, his outlook which 24 hour ace cash express is whom godly and his philosophy of life which is unashamedly Christian.
I am not competent to offer any literary criticism of Dr. Mendis’s poetry. But I can truly say that I have enjoyed them and would like to have them on my bookshelf to browse thorough at random. Therefore, though I have read most of these poems before at sporadic intervals, I am very happy to see them in the form of an anthology.
The oxford philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, gave voice to the aphorism that “one must remain silent about that which one cannot utter” Quoting this in one of his writings on the liturgy his holiness Pope Benedict XVI wrote approvingly of a modification of this saying in the Christian context which read some thing like If one cannot remain silent about that which one cannot utter, then one bursts out in song” As did king David for many millennia in the past; and Dr. Lalith Mendis has now, thus treating us to this anthology of beautiful poems worthy of being savoured at leisure.
Dr. Ruwan Ekanayake,