Solace in Verse
by Migel Jayasinghe
Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency

"Please grant me space, I want to live
freed from past failure. A few forgotten
triumphs, thinly glimpsed, remain shining
like polished armour; though hardly a crusading knight
defending honour, faith or creed."

Daily life comes with constant demands. Focusing on a career, establishing and providing for a family, etc. can often be draining as we keep running from one thing to another. The change from an active lifestyle to one not as fast-paced in retirement can also be stressful. Some attempt to cope with this change by getting more involved in their community; others find more creative ways to adjust. Jayasinghe falls into this latter category, seeking Solace in his poetry. The result is an intriguing collection of poems that not only reflect his thoughts on his "golden years" but frequently turn more philosophical as he muses on topics such as religion and society.

Although his poetry often follows established Western patterns of stanza structure in regard to meter and rhyme, Jayasinghe occasionally experiments with other forms such as in the selection "Five Haiku" and the whimsical "Solace." He is also not above engaging in a bit of literary allusion and comic wordplay in altered lines such as "The Ode Less Travelled" and "June is undoubtedly the fairest month." All of his poems, though, whether serious or flighty feel to be almost watermarked with the poet's personality. Whether raging at the world's greed and materialism in "Price of Progress," musing on aging in "Curtain Call," or exploring the soul of a certain location like in "St Petersburg," Jayasinghe pulls back the curtain just enough for a brief glimpse at the older, introspective gentleman who is deftly pulling the levers and operating the smoke machine of his wizardry. Solace isn't a lengthy book, offering readers only four dozen poems to sample. However, like all pleasing tastes they leave the palate wanting more.

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