Poetry is an art form as much as it is a literary genre. Poems are in essence a narrative tale, but just stringing together some beautiful words like pearls on a necklace does not create a beautiful poem. Alongside a strong storyline, poetry is also about technique, rhythm, form, and expression. This is what makes poetry so poignantly touching and even therapeutic at times.

Jasmine Jayasekara is the writer of a collection of poems that perfectly illustrates just why this genre has enjoyed such timeless allure and continues to nourish the minds and souls of people across the globe.

There are more than thirty poems in this collection, and they are written under nine themes: Family, Pain, Nature, Countryside, Love, Solitude, Human World, The Woman, Farewell.

Jasmine Jayasekara’s poetry is so powerful because it conveys the nature of the human experience with a startling simplicity. Her poems are at once personal and universal. This passage is from one of the poems in the collection called ‘Loneliness’ and is an example of the lyrical and emotional clarity which distinguishes Jasmine’s poetry.

“Loneliness is a world that everyone builds

With the breaths they take and the sighs they drop

Every single moment of their lives”

This collection is dedicated to Jasmine Jayasekara’s father, who was an English teacher and a poet himself. Indeed, one of the poems in this collection, ‘A Lonely Night’, was written by her father and is a touching tribute to his legacy as a wonderful human being as well as an acknowledgement of his role in her own journey as a writer, a woman and a human.

Jasmine Jayasekara herself has a long history when it comes to her appreciation of the literary arts. She is the Head of the Department of English in the Advanced Technological Institute in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. During the day she immerses herself in the study of the greatest literary figures to have graced the pages of human civilization. At night, she pours her heart and soul into her poetry, walking in the footsteps of the literary masters in order to create masterpieces of her own creation.

“When

The scarlet leaves winked

At the still waves

Yearning a fire

That never burns”

(A passage from the poem “Leafy Paths I”).

This volume has been published by Queen of Sea Publishers and would make a wonderful addition to anyone’s bookshelf. Accompanying this collection of poems are a series of beautiful pencil sketches by the artist Sajith Perera. These ethereal illustrations enhance the messages and sentiments of the poetry perfectly, and really add to the depth and impact of the writings they are presented with.

Jasmine writes from the heart, describing her thoughts and emotions with the simplicity and transparency of a perfectly undisturbed and tranquil body of water. Her poems transcend all borders and are truly universal in their appeal. Reading her poetry is like gazing at our reflections in the water, and as she writes about her own experiences we begin to think about our own journeys as humans navigating our way through life, relationships and within our own selves.