From the Life of the Folk Poet Ysinno by Lakdas wikkramasinha

Summary and Analysis of From the Life of the Folk Poet Ysinno by Lakdas wikkramasinha

Ysinno cut the bamboo near Haniketta ,
And from those wattles made his hut
And had nothing to cover it with, nothing
Like a hundred and sixty
Bales of straw.

So he made his way to the Walauva at Iddamalgoda
And to the Menike said how poor he was.
And how from his twenties he had made those lines of song
Swearing before her all his fealties.
So she said, Wait for the Yala
Harvest and take the straw.

Ysinno said, O the rains are coming near,
My woman fretting, her kid will get all wet
Then the kind Menike said, O then
You take what straw you need from the behind shed
And Ysinno being a folk poet and his lines not being all dead ,
The benison of the Menike of Iddamalgoda
Lives even today.

Folk Poet Ysinno Tamil Explanation

VOCABULARY

01.hut =small house
02.wattles =bamboo strips as material for making walls
03.made his way to = went to
04.bales = bundles hay tightly wrapped with cords
05.straw = dried stalks of grain
06. swearing = making a solemn statement
07.fealties = the fidelity of a vassal to his lord
08.harvest = gathering of crops.
09. woman= wife
10.fretting = worrying
11. shed =a simple roofed structure
12.benison = blessing, kindness

SINHALESE TERMS

01. Ysinno :- Singho= name derived from Portuguese later became a Sinhalese name of an
ordinary man
02.Haniketta= name of a thicket
03.Walauva= manor house
04.Menike = spouse of the nobleman
05.Iddamalgoda= the name of the village
06.Yala= a harvesting season
SUBJECT-MATTER: Ysinno’s request of the Menike for straw to thatch his house.
MAJOR THEME: The traditional ancient culture of Sri Lanka
OTHER THEMES: Class division judges economy
How Aristocratic Authority Coiled The Economy Of The Country
The benison of the Menike of Walawwathe loyalty of the peasants towards the Walawwa

TECHNIQUES

Repetition
And from those wattles made his hut
And had nothing to cover it with, nothing
And to the Menike said how poor he was.
And how from his twenties he had made those lines of song

Personification
The benison of the Menike of Iddamalgoda lives even today.

Implications
folk-poet= a simple village man
made those lines of song= made his living
song = life
lines of song= years spent in life
his lines not being all dead= He strives to exist

Language
The language is the very ordinary and simple language with Sinhalese words and cultural expressions. Yet it is powerful and expressive.

LITERARY STUDY

Lakdasa Wickramasinghe composes his poem, “From the life of the Folk poet, Ysinno”based on the Sinhalese traditional culture. He uses the names, characters and idiomatic phrases commonly found in it. In the first verse he thus describes Ysinno’s pathetic condition.
“Ysinno cut the bamboo near Haniketta , 
And from those wattles made his hut
And had nothing to cover it with,” 

As is the custom, Ysinno visits Menike of Iddamalgoda Walawwa, and makes a request for hundred and sixty bales of straw to thatch his house. Traditionally the nobleman of the Walawwa was a strict person and the people were afraid of visiting him directly. So it was the custom of the village folk to forward their grievances to his wife. The poem reveals the kind nature the Menike of Iddamalgoda Walawwa in spite of the authoritative attitude of Walawwa .
“So she said, Wait for the Yala
Harvest and take the straw.”
But he could not wait for that long so he explained his difficult situation to the Menike.

“My woman fretting her kid will get wet.”
Then Menike is moved over Ysinno’s difficult state when he makes a mention of his kid and orders him to take any amount of straw he needs from the shed behind. This shows the motherly nature of the Menike.

“You take what straw you need from the behind shed.”
The poem depicts the peasants depending on the kindness of their employers and how humble and submissive they are.

The language used by the poet is quite appealing and familiar to the local reader. The expressions used to describe Menike’s kindness and Ysinno’s words to win her favour symbolize a typical village scene – the image of the society at that time. The Menike of Iddamalgoda Walawwa with her kindness, is made to shine in society.

“The benison of the Menike of Iddamalgoda lives even today.”
The poet’s simple diction and the usage of local idiom visualize the typical Sinhalese village. The presentation of two individuals – an aristocrat and a poor peasant and how human kindness could pave the way for ‘good deeds ‘is thoroughly depicted in the poem.

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