The poems I am juxtaposing this week all deal with legends. They are therefore all of them quite long, so my own intrusions must necessarily be brief. This is fortunately not a problem, for the poems speak for themselves. All I need to note is the fact that the legends dealt with by writers in English and Sinhala and Tamil all deal with sexual attraction.
The Tamil poem, by one of the most influential of modern poets, Mahakavi, is about how the God Indran seduced the wife of a sage, and was punished for his crime with a thousand sores, while poor Ahalikai was turned to stone. Happily, she was later brought back to life by the touch of Rama. The translation is by Chelva Kanaganayakam, to whom I am indebted for my first visit to the University of Jaffna, way back in 1981.