A Poem is as good as how well your brain perceives .Meet Neelam Saxena Chandra. She is an Indian poet and author. She has written children’s stories and poetry. She also writes fiction in English as well as Hindi and she has received several awards including the Rabindranath Tagore International Award in 2014. We had a quick talk with her on poetry and below is the extract of the interview.
1. How do you begin a poem? Do you get inspirations from other famous poets?
Frankly speaking my poetry is a culmination of the thought process that I may be undergoing sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes for days together.
In a way, I am inspired by many of the famous poets since I have grown up reading them. However, for a particular poem, I don’t basically get inspired by a poet, since the thoughts which are crossing my mind are my own.
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2. If you were asked to teach a person to start reading a poem and to understand how to read between the lines, How would you do that?
A poetry is like a veiled face. The veil has many layers to it. Those who just see the veil, can’t appreciate poetry. To comprehend poetry, I will ask the reader to unveil the face and see its spirit.
3. Do you feel the difference in Indian poets when compared to those away?
A poet is a poet, whether from our country or elsewhere. Poetry becomes richer as the poet gets more and more experiences in life and improves upon his/her ability to express himself/herself. The country is immaterial. I have read some wonderful poets from the country and also some awful poems from abroad.
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4.What do you think that most well-written poems have in common?
The most well-written poems have a good flow and use apt, but simple words.
5. If you were to suggest 5 best poetry books , which would they be?
In Hindi, I love poetry books by Gulzar sahib such as Pukhraj and Raat Pashmine ki. ‘Leaves of grass’ by Walt Whitman, Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore, The Prelude by William Wordsworth are my other favorites.
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6. You have recently released your new poetry in Hindi- Dil se. How was the experience writing a hindi poem compared to writing an English poem?
Frankly speaking, I love writing poems in Hindi as much as I enjoy in English. Both the languages have their own charm. I grew up talking in Hindi at home and also listening to Hindi songs and Hindi comes naturally to me. DIL SE is a collection of Romantic Hindi poems, which I am sure, will be loved by my readers. This is basically my fourth Hindi poetry book.
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