I’m pleased to share my interview with Colleen in the ‘Meet the Poet’ series. Colleen’s questions helped me delve deeper into myself. Sometimes, you write because it helps you release your thoughts, emotions and find your bearings. That’s how it’s always been for me. I did not follow a structure. I did not have a plan when I began my blog in 2016. The blog was an outlet to share some bits of my diary with the world and to be heard without interruption. I’d like to thank Colleen not only for the interview but for helping me get my book to readers outside India. It was absolutely a pleasure working with her.
Here is an excerpt of the interview.
👩🏻🦳 Hi Smitha. Welcome. What is your favorite syllabic poetry form?
Hi, Colleen. Thank you for having me here. I have written little syllabic poetry but of the ones I’ve tried, I enjoy writing haibun for my travelogues and tanka, as you get two extra lines and more syllables, as compared to haiku.
👩🏻🦳 How does writing syllabic poetry enhance your life or writing practice?
Syllabic poetry, like haiku or tanka, is easier to remember when one is walking. I like that. As a writing practice, it’s great because it teaches you to express your thoughts using limited words, and leaving a lot unsaid and up to the imagination of the reader.
👩🏻🦳 So, how important is the accessibility of your poem’s meaning? Should one have to work hard to ‘solve’ the problem of the poem?
One thing that people who’ve read my blog often say is that my poetry or prose is simple and easy to understand. In fact, that’s how I introduce myself on my ‘About’ page. I say, ‘If you’re looking for extensive vocabulary or writing that takes the form of serious literature, then this place isn’t for you.’ I’d like to keep it that way without losing the depth or range of emotions but without making it lacklustre. I don’t believe in using sesquipedalia. It means a ‘very long word’. I may have impressed a few by using the word but would have turned many away, too.
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