Sunday, December 7, 2008

nothing prepares you by vivimarie vanderpoorten

Okay, so I am not a poetry person, though I will read or at least skim through poetry books thrust on me. One such book literally forced upon me by a friend was vivimarie vanderpoorten’s book of poems. Firstly I loved the design of the book, it was clean, simple, nicely laid out, simple black and white sketches,printed on nice paper by a new publishing house that I hadn’t heard of before – Zeus books.
Now for the poems. What a lovely surprise to read poems that instantly appealed to the modern generation of Sri Lanka. From the very first poem that is about the tsunami of 2004 Vivimarie draws the reader in sharply, - there is no gentleness about her poems, -into the lives and sketches of life. In her second poem she admits that pain is her muse and after reading much of Sri Lankan literature, I realize that pain is the muse for most writers. But while others do it badly, Vivimarie does it well. But the ones I like best are her spiky poems that sting with wit, humour and anger. Poems that stand out are Decree Nisi, You’re Welcome, Visiting Giants, Doppelganger, actually most of the poems are good. And I hope Ms Vanderpoorten doesn’t mind if I reproduce one of her poems in this blog, to give you a taste of her poetry.

Haiku: Elections
Time to vote again
Cheerful faces on posters
Pasted promises

A man pees against
the wall, smiling lies can wait:
Nature’s call is strong

One of the reasons I like this book of poetry, is that it is not typical of Sri Lankan poetry that still groans and moans about village life, ayahs, walauwe’s, nelum flowers, Sigiriya frescoes. Come on poets! Write about life, reality, harshness, love – raw and real. And I suppose that is the real reason why I like vivimarie vanderpoorten’s poems. I look forward to her next collection and perhaps she will stun and surprise us with a novel in the near future.


  1. Hi Egghead. Was looking for a URL which carried a review and stumbled across yours. Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed the book. A second one has been written, is awaiting a good offer from a publsiher :)

  2. Her poetry is intensely personal. It takes me by surprise to read Vivimarie's poetry because I feel she finds words to explain my feelings. So true of them not being typical of SL poetry of groans and moans and village life.


  3. Hi Viv
    So glad to know you are doing well in your writing, isn't it better than accountancy !

    Love to get hold of a copy of your Nothing prepares you
    from D

  4. Hi Vivi
    I was browing the website of SL High Commission in London & saw your name, what a pleasant surprise & to note you are doing so well. I will try & get hold of a copy "Nothing Prepares you".
    I remember you from the YWCA days, I live in UK now.
    Geetha Rajanayagam

  5. Vivi,

    me !

    A (as in Anonymous;)