The Cinnamon Peeler

Given that the poem falls within the broad category of postcolonial poetry are there any particular reasons to view it from this perspective. Does the fact that it is an epithalamin make any difference, if so how explain in detail.

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While Ondaatje focuses on the potency of his desire in "The Cinnamon Peeler," a poem that is set in Sri Lanka, the actual situation in the country was not ideal in the mid-1980s. During this time period, Sri Lanka was undergoing a period of political unrest, as various ethnic groups vied for power. The United National Party (UNP), a coalition of nationalist and communal parties, had come to power in the late 1970s, the latest of many times that this party had been in power. Yet, the authority and sovereignty of this government was constantly challenged by various radical groups, most notably the Tamils, who set up bases in jungle areas of Sri Lanka as well as in certain parts of Tamil Nadu, an Indian state. Although the UNP-led Sri Lankan government attempted to suppress these rebellions, it was not necessary. The common people, many of whom were Sinhalese, formed into mobs and attacked the Tamils themselves. As a result, many Tamil groups fled to Tamil Nadu.

Even while all of this fighting was taking place, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) continued to play a huge part in the spice trade. Sri Lanka has been synonymous with the Eastern spice trade for thousands of years, and the island of Ceylon has been a central trading point for spices during this time period. In fact, the spice that Ondaatje focuses on in his poem, cinnamon, is a spice that is native to Sri Lanka. It comes from Cinnamomum zeylanicum, a form of evergreen tree that belongs to the laurel family. Cinnamon has always had exotic associations, and has been used in various cultures for spiritual rites and even witchcraft. In the modern world, it is used mainly as a flavoring, especially in baked goods. Its oil is also used in liqueur, perfume, and even drugs. Yet, despite the widespread use of cinnamon worldwide, its importance as a Sri Lankan export, and in fact, the importance of other Sri Lankan agricultural products, such as tea and rubber, declined by the mid-1980s, when Ondaatje was writing "The Cinnamon Peeler." While these products were still being exported, they were no longer the number one export, a designation that was held by textiles and garments