Cheran Rudhramoorthy (Sri Lanka/Canada) Dr. R. Cheran is Tamil Canadian academic, poet, playwright and journalist. He is a professor at the University of Windsor in Canada. He has authored over fifteen books in Tamil, and his work has been translated into twenty languages. Several volumes of his work have been published in English translation of Burning (Arc Publications, UK). He has performed his poetry at various International Writers’ festivals in the United Kingdom, Singapore, the US, Indonesia, India, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, Ramallah, West Bank, Dubai and Mexico. His plays in English language have been produced and performed in Toronto, Canada, New York, Chicago and New Jersey in the US. Singapore’s modern dance group Chowk has produced and performed a dance play based on his poems titled “The Second Sunrise”.








A poet, an epitome of grief,

Is blood songs of defeat.

The one who cannot sing,

The one who refuses to sing,

The one who is incapable of singing,

Between them, what dies?

poetry, voice, love or time?

We know not.


Our life cannot be contained inside music.

My wonderful poem, within a minute of its conception, is

Sent to the cremation grounds.

A hundred years later, when it’s found again and praised profusely,

The poet is no more.











Within all places,

Between all words,

All kisses,

Exists a tiny space,

Where everything refuses to

Fall, or freeze,

There I am.




கவிஞன் ஒரு கொடுந்துயர்

அவன் தோல்விகளின் குருதிப் பாடல்

பாட முடியாதவனுக்கும்

பாட மறுப்பவனுக்கும்

பாடல் வராதவனுக்கும் இடையே

இறப்பது கவிதையா,




காலமா எனத் தெரியாது

நம் வாழ்வை இசைக்குள் அடக்க முடியாது

அற்புதமான என் கவிதை

பிறந்த மறு கணமே

சுடலைக்குப் போகிறது

நூறாண்டுகள் கழித்து

அது புகழ் பெருகி மீண்டும் வருகையில்

கவிஞன் இல்லை

நிறைவற்றது கவிதை






எல்லா இடங்களிலும்

எல்லாச் சொற்களிடையேயும்

எல்லா முத்தங்களிடையேயும்

ஒரு சிறு இடைவெளி உண்டு

எதுவும் உதிரவும் உறையவும் மறுக்கும்




Translated from Tamil by Geetha Sukumaran


Geetha Sukumaran is a doctoral student in Humanities at York University, Toronto. Her interests include contemporary Tamil poetry, women's writing, trauma literature and translation. Her current research focuses on Tamil women's writings from Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu that connect culinary practices with war trauma, memory, familial and caste oppression. She has published two books in Tamil: Tharkolaikku parakkum panithuli (Tamil translation of Sylvia Plath's poems, 2013), and her own poems, Otrai pakadaiyil enchum nampikkai (The Hope that Remains in a Single Dice, 2014). Her English translation of Ahilan's poetry titled, Then There Were No Witnesses, was published by Mawenzi House, Toronto (2018). She is the recipient of the SPARROW R Thyagarajan award for her poetry.