Do You See?
Young people these days are real smart. Most young people I know. Dupur Mitra from Bangladesh runs a webzine called COPYLEFT. He shot a few questions at me recently, picking my brains about poetry. As a much older person, a little more out into the world, I should’ve had very smart things to say, but I got away spinning my well-scratched two cents. Dupur, young and generous that he is, approved of my cynical old woman responses.
The headline that Dupur has chosen makes me sound smug. Although I am so at times, I’d perhaps ask for a regular header. Well! Also, the photograph that he has chosen for the interview is a product of terrible boredom on one of these evenings. Right. I’m feathered and striped for some weird occasion. Very pink. Not tickled.
Read the interview HERE.
And, if you are lazy, read at least an excerpt below:
Dupur Mitra: What are your observations about trending of world poetry?
Nabina Das: None really. Is there a trend(ing)? Apparently Ron Silliman is supposed to embody one trend. Critics ascribe another trend to Billy Collins. Or to Robert Hass. We have learnt about Language poetry as well. I think poetry always evolves, without which it cannot be poetry. You can twirl its tail a bit, powder its nose. All for effects. It can’t be a banker’s excel sheet or a haberdasher’s bauble list. Not poetry. I’m not being elitist here at all. I simply think poetry grows as we do with time and situation. Anyone who thinks they are writing poetry in the manner of Shakespeare and thinking s/he is cracking it well, is stopping poetry from growing. So one may say, here the trending of poetry has flagged. All ‘trending’ leads to one goal – poetry.
Dupur Mitra: Can poetry movement improve poetry? If yes how, if not why?
Nabina Das: Why would poetry require improvement, for god’s sake? It’s not the banker’s new-fangled calculator or Blackberry, or the haberdasher’s newly varnished showcase. It’s not a tech thing that it must improve. Poetry just evolves and comes to be. It’s only about possibilities, not improvements.
Isn’t it said all poetry is found? Sometimes I beg to differ. More often than not, it seems most poetry actually find me. The poems come tumbling down on me, cornering me, making me breathless. My state of current listlessness is torn asunder by them. So what poem has found me tonight? What sentence am I to suffer or enjoy?
Source: Poetry (December 2010).
Last year, around this time, I was holidaying in Goa. Misty rains, soft wet sands, grey lolling sea. Good food, wine and long walks. Also, afternoon siesta followed by evening plum cakes. Here’s a photo from that relaxing time, fishing myself out of all normative pulls. Oh, do not despair, it is only a temporary tattoo, fashioned of black henna: