Photo courtesy of Indran Amirthanayagam

Guy Amirthanayagam

(October 23, 1927- May 17, 2003)

My father would have enjoyed my new enterprise, writing the sonnet free

of the common shackles of obligatory rhyme but standing still in the glorious

frame of fourteen lines. He was a modernist, fan of Eliot, Frost and Yeats.

He loved to say let us go then you and I and saw his own lilacs sprouting

from the cold earth in Spring, but after reading a few thousand books

and turning closer to the imagined and deeply felt God his favorite Eliot

was Christian and that late poem Four Quartets. The poet Guy Amirthanayagam

wrote criticism as well introducing the idea of the marriage of continents

to contemporary discourse, focused now on multicultural energies forming

hybrid cultures. Guy, the diplomat, made peace among ethnic rivals, believing

for a time in a Ceylon governed by honor and ethics. His hopes for this illusion

diminished as the civil war raged. Guy, the husband and father left us

on May 17, 2003 to carry on thinking of a possible revival of love

and grace in a country driven to the precipice in 2022 but standing still.

Indran Amirthanayagam, c) May 17, 2022