06 December 2005

All things are poetical

Yesterday I received the latest newsletter from my new favorite website, the Poetry International Web. It features an insightful interview with Chandrakant Shah, a Boston-based Gujarati poet:
The rhythm of life became my writing, and my writing became the rhythm of life. I love that line from Longfellow: “As to the pure mind all things are pure, so to the poetic mind all things are poetical.” [...]

The form of poetry nourishes our roots; it sustains us in elemental ways. We grow up with poetry, starting with lullabies, farming songs, songs hummed on the streets, nursery rhymes. Some people abandon poetry as they grow up while others carry it with them. [...]

If I didn’t live in the US, I suspect I’d never have written my long poem, ‘Rear View Mirror’, which is a comment on desi (local Indian) life in America. Many Gujarati critics shy away writing about my poems because they can’t understand where I am coming from.

My poetry emerges from long drives, speeding tickets, golf lessons, river rafting, gambling on football in Las Vegas and standing endlessly on the sidewalks of Manhattan. I write while driving. The faster I drive, the better I write. Most of the Blue Jeans collection was written at the steering wheel of my Honda Accord.
The site also features "six young new urban Marathi voices, and an Italian poet writing on Japan while living in Paris."

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