May Poet of the Month: Archana Kapoor
May brings a new poet of the month, selected by our poetry editor, Eric Keizer. Meet the talented Archana Kapoor, poet and travel writer.
Life manifested in its complete liveliness is Archana. A Banker turned Blogger, she realized that writing and expression gave meaning to her life and soul. She loves recounting her travel tales and stories that she sees everywhere. When she feels deeply about something, her expression takes a poetic form. Looking at every aspect of life with a twinkle in her eye, she garnishes things around her with something special. Check out for yourself in her amazing writing.
Name: Archana Chaurasia Kapoor
Preferred Genre: Love, Haiku, Off beat
Hello. We are delighted to honor you as our Poet of the Month here on Our Write Side.
First, let’s discuss your writing…
What inspires you to write poetry?
- Inspiration can come from anywhere and hit me real hard. When I step out of the house to walk my dog in the morning, the dew drops on the tree right outside my house inspire me, the sky in all its moods, especially with the sun creating drama with colors makes words just flow in my mind, sitting amidst my plants in my patio-garden, admiring the greens and the fragrance of the flowers can be heartening and it forces lyrics in my mind… and most of all while surfing the net if I come across any moving picture, I have this urge to put that image into words, and more often than not write a Haiku on it.
What does being creative mean to you?
- Creativity is about painting a beautiful picture with words, one that talks to the readers, pulls them towards it and yet leaves a lot to their own imagination and interpretation. Leaving thoughts in people’s minds is the best part of being creative and that’s what excites me.
Which do you enjoy more: the writing, revising, or sharing of a poem?
- I love writing and sharing. I am a bit lazy when it comes to revising because I feel something written in the first attempt is the genuine thought behind that piece. Revising for me is a form of manipulation, which sometimes takes away from the original thought. Of course, I proof read all my work, but I make revisions only if there is a pressing need to.
Can you describe the time when you first realized writing poetry was something you had to do?
- I think it was sometime during school days. I don’t exactly remember when, but i was a little girl. I used to participate in inter-school elocution competitions, and when I spoke aloud, my teachers often told me that they could ‘feel’ the poem. That’s when I realized that I could feel what I was speaking too. Whether it was “ring out the old, ring in the new” or “I have miles to go before I sleep”, merely reading poetry aloud made me come alive. I knew I had to write someday.
Do you have a ritual or routine you must complete or have while you are writing?
- Not really. I don’t usually have time-lines, deadlines or any set routine. I just write when I have to, when I feel the need to.
What are you trying to communicate with your writing?
- My thoughts when I see a thing of beauty, grief when I feel someone has been wronged, excitement when I feel the caress of mother nature, love when I see it in the eyes of my beloved, inspiration when I feel moved by something, Many many elements. There’s so much to talk about if you have the ears to listen to everything that transpires around you. I love communicating how I feel.
What are you currently working on?
- My Haiku book which has been long pending now. My husband and I have a concept in mind, for the book and we are working on that.
- I am also working on a love story set in Mumbai, my home town. It’s going a bit slow, but is exciting nonetheless.
Do you have any works published or coming soon?
- As I mentioned above. 🙂 A book full of Haiku, coming soon!
What makes poetry “good?”
- The thought behind it, the simplicity of the message conveyed and the passion of the poet.
Thanks for discussing your writing. Now, let’s talk a little bit about you…
When you aren’t writing, what do you do?
- Lots of things. Reading, cooking, traveling, watching TV series, talking to family and friends and very often ‘thinking.’
If you could have a do-over, would you choose your “calling” or non-writing job again today?
- I love writing. But honestly I have enjoyed my professional life thoroughly too, every bit of it. If the opportunity ever presents itself, I could do both. But writing will be my calling, something that was meant to be and will always remain close to my heart.
Tell us about a favorite childhood memory.
- OMG! So many to choose from. But I’ll talk about one that brings a smile to my face even now. I had participated in an inter-school speaking competition. I had a reputation to maintain because I never lost any competition I participated in, which also meant that the pressure was always on. My topic was, ‘My Country, my school and I.’ The elimination round was done and while I was confident that I did very well, there were two other students who were excellent too, especially one boy who spoke about wanting to be a politician and hence moved the crowds with his hilarious words. I was wary but decided to put up a brave face and speak to the best of my abilities in the final round (I was confident that I would make it). And that’s what I did. My topic was serious, some thoughts in it profound; and I delivered the speech exactly as my teachers taught me – with emotion, feeling and a smile. But the politician boy kept playing on my mind. I won the first prize. Usually whenever I won a competition, I knew I would. But this time I wasn’t really sure and that made the moment even more special. Of course, back at home my siblings went berserk and kept dancing around the house. It was a beautiful day!
Name one poet most people don’t know about, but should.
- Well, I really enjoy the work of John Keats. He is well known too, but I haven’t heard too many people refer to him.
Where do you see yourself as a poet in five years?
- I haven’t thought of this at all. I write because I need to. What the future beholds is something I want to wait and watch. I will walk my path sincerely – that’s my promise to myself, the rest can unfold in its own way.
How about sharing your favorite poet? Author? Book? Song? Movie? Food?
- I like Rudyard Kipling’s work.
- Nicholas Sparks and his love stories.
- The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
- The Shawshank Redemption, Superman, My Fair Lady and the Indian movie – Kabhi Kabhi.
- Indian cuisine
If you could pass along only one piece of advice to other poets, what would it be?
- Don’t write for the sake of writing, write if you feel it within!
And in conclusion, would you please share your favorite poem penned by yourself and tell us why it is so special to you?
- This is a tough one. Can I take the liberty of sharing a few?
Nature’s Bolt (Tanka) – This was my first attempt at writing Tanka and will always remain special.
Deafening din of
Colossal nebula clash
Changes the backdrop
Divine artistry for some
Wrath of nature to many
The White Lady (Poem) – This one was for my favorite mountain – Mont Blanc. Anyone who climbs Mont Blanc is sure to fall in love with her, just as I did.
She called out to me in my dreams
I could hear her speak my name
Her serene gaze and calm voice
Heightened my desires to meet her
She almost stretched her arms
In that very moment I knew
That’s the place I yearned to be in
That was what I was longing for all these years
I commenced my journey
I ran as fast as my feet could carry me
And as I she rose in front of me
I stopped in my tracks, awestruck!
Beauty is but a word
And to call her beautiful was injustice
She was a goddess
Archangelic and divine
A woman of immense strength and power
Who held tempests tight in her bosom
Without flinching at the sting
Without cringing with the pain
She gave me immense love
Tranquility and tenderness
Wrapped me in her white gown
And put me to rest!
Moon About (Haiku) – A beautiful body I write about very often.
Moonlit starry nights
Mind wanders listlessly as
Sleep evades my eyes
An Ode To You (Poem) – This one was for my sweetheart, my husband!
Tomorrow, if I were to leave
For places unknown
And return years later
I wonder what you would do
Would you still sip ginger tea
At least occasionally, out of my mug
Instead of the green tea
From your favourite tumbler
Would you still say
Yay! The weekend starts tomorrow
Saturdays are for work around the house
You know how much I hate going out on Sundays
They are only for you and me
To be at home
And cook together
Would you still say
Let’s have lunch at a fancy restaurant
But before that
We need to go to Saks on Tuesday
I need to buy you a dress
For our lunch date
Would you still say
Please call me when you get late
I get worried when
You are out and about
On your fancy shopping trips
You lose track
And would you say
You ask too many questions
When there is no need
There are some parts of us
Which we will never know
Some things should remain implicit
Between a man and wife… forever
And I really wonder
If you would still do
All those sweet things
Which make you
And say all the cherished things
Which make me love you…
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions today.