- A 2018 Kindle Book Awards Winner
- A 2018 Readers' Favorite Awards Honorable Mention
- A 2018 New Apple Summer eBook Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing Official Selection
Rajapakse explores identity, values and women's role in society through the poems in Chant of a Million Women. She also looks at the concepts of beauty and the standards imposed on women to conform. Some of the poems are hard hitting and take on subjects that are uncomfortable to talk about like rape, female gender mutilation, abuse and male dominance. She talks about power and the quiet force that keeps half the world moving even when there is no hope.
The language is simple yet the thoughts and ideas are not. They rise from the depth of our very being to swirl through the pages compelling the reader to step into worlds created within the covers. There is magnificence and strength juxtaposed with violence and weakness as are other opposites such as the divine and human frailty. These poems are like a breath of fresh air, provoking, mesmerizing and entertaining.
At our core is a chant,
like the susurrus of leaves only breezes
Sometimes it opens lips
to sing like gurgling waters meandering
from here to there, to wherever it flows,
or the soft tread of footfalls
on the path outside.
it's a roar so loud
thunder stops in its tracks
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About the Author
"I Exist. Therefore I Am" is her latest collection of short stories (October 2018).
Rajapakse's work appears in many literary journals and anthologies around the world. Rajapakse read for a BA in English Literature from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and has a MA in International Relations from JNU, India.
Connect with her on social media. Follow her on facebook.com/shiranirajapakseauthor/, twitter.com/shiraniraj, linkedin.com/in/shiranirajapaks, pinterest.com/shiraniraj/, instagram.com/shiranirajapakse/ and visit her site at shiranirajapakse.wordpress.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite Chant of a Million Women by Shirani Rajapakse is a collection of seventy-three free verse poems which touch on raw and sometimes brutal aspects of the female experience. These can be difficult to discuss and even more difficult to express, but she does it masterfully. The poems vary in length and topic, but the subjects and themes, whether inspired by current headlines, ancient texts, or the thousands of years of the human experience in between, are clear and all too recognizable. To many readers, they will be all too personal and painful. Notes at the end explain references to a modern crime victim and characters from ancient Hindu and Greek epics which inspired some of the works. Chant of a Million Women is correctly classified as poetry about women’s issues. No argument there. But in my opinion, it is just as accurately, and perhaps even more pointedly, poetry about men. Not all men, of course. Many good and decent men around the world champion the rights of women, their equal treatment under the law, their education and participation in society, and their respectful treatment in family and work relationships. Rajapakse’s poems are clearly aimed at those who don’t, and who often justify their exploitation, disrespect and brutality by the attractiveness of their victims. She defiantly reminds them of their hypocrisy. And she sadly reminds us all of the terrible waste of so many lives to hopelessness and despair. “That’s why I write, I whisper to the winds.” Highly recommended.