PPP Ezine: Who are your favorite poets, if possible, also tell us what makes them your favorite?
SS: Ther e are so many wonderful poets. Just choosing one would be so difficult. Still I would say among the Indian poets ‘Rabindranath Tagore’ and ‘Kazi Najrul Islam’ are my favorites. Among the foreign poets ‘Robert Frost’, ‘Alfred Lord Tennyson’ and ’Emily Dickinson’ are my favorites.
PPP Ezine: This one is a direct descendent of Matthew Arnold’s Touchstone Method: ‘They say that there are lines in a poem that make its heart. You may call them the poetry of poetry. Do you remember some such lines of yours or from some of your favorite poets that will help us understand your vision of poetry? If yes, please do give us some of those lines.
SS: Yes it is very true that there are lines in a poem which make its heart. For me, poetry is one of the most soulful ways of expressing one’s emotions. It is the twist and turns of words which gives a whole new meaning to life. Here is an excerpt of one of my poems ‘Poetry’ which can express my idea of poetry better.
“Poetry creates much wonders..
It immerses one into another world
enticing towards thoughts ineffable and
giving the mind a transient solitude.
It enthralls the heart to feel and empathize
with emotions deeper…
It lightens and burdens the soul
at the same time in no time,
It plays with words delicately
treating each as musical paraphernalia,
creating tunes extremely varied and beautiful..
It drives one into a vivid imagination entangling
the mind into a different state..”
Once we expose ourselves to the world of poetry we realize that there cannot be any turning back. After all it gives us so much in return. I believe poetry is a means to achieve contentment even in solitude.
PPP Ezine: There has been a debate raging among the lovers of free verse and formal verse. Where do you stand in this debate? Why?
SS: Poetry is all about expressing ourselves. Whether free or formal verse it all depends on the poet’s individual choice. I would prefer free verse because it gives poets the freedom to express in any way they want. I believe the soul is free so it must be expressed freely as well. If we bind it under rules then it gets chained. Hence I would go for free verse which gives poets a lot of freedom.
PPP Ezine: Give our new poets a few tips (3 or more) for composing well.
SS: Don’t be afraid to express yourself. That is what I always say. Don’t worry about vocabulary or all the flowery language, just speak your heart out and let your soul feel every emotions freely be it little or big. That’s all.
PPP Ezine: Rejection is a life-long friend or enemy of a poet. Please tell us how you responded/respond to your rejections in the past, and now?
SS: Rejection is a part of life as they say. What is a life without rejection after all? Life is a mixture of both good and bad. We must be able to handle rejection. After all rejection is just the beginning of success. So far poetry is concerned don’t focus on publications initially. First just write for the love of writing. If you feel poetry is your passion then just write without fearing rejections. Write just because you love it.
For me 1 publication in the face of 10 rejections also matters because that one publication can balance all the ten rejections. So just write without worrying about publications and all.
PPP Ezine: A poet has a cultivated mind. Give us some pointers to cultivate the poetic faculties/genius.
SS: I would advice reading. After all reading is something which cultivates the mind. It enables one to live so many lives in one life itself. I would suggest writers to read a lot. You can read anything be it novels or short stories or poetries or anything of your choice as long as it allows you to think and get engrossed into a whole new world. Also be a good thinker. I think two important traits for poetry are thoughts and imagination. So, don’t restrict yourself from being a thinker and an ‘imaginator’.