Poetry with Prakriti 2017: Navkirat Sodhi makes an impact
An interaction with the poet Navkirat Sodhi, leading up to the festival Poetry with Prakriti 2017, set to be held from December 3-17, across multiple venues in Chennai.
Give us your overview of how you see the space for poetry changing and evolving in India - specifically, for regional language poetry alongside writing in English.
It's making a serious comeback and it's encouraging to see it taking root in young minds across the country. However, like good music or dance or sport, language to poetry is incidental. It's what is at the core of its content that determines the barriers it will cross, eventually. The universal lure and unspoken appeal of Sanskrit mantras for instance.
Tell us a little about your plans at the Prakriti Festival. What can audiences expect, given your participation at the event?
Excerpts from a journey of doe-eyed love to disillusionment, the power of dispassion and the impact of being Indian. Ultramodern and simplistic brevity can be expected.
Would you consider poetry readings to be rather similar to performance art pieces? How does the performative aspect of a public reading change things in terms of engaging listeners, and disseminating and offering poetry?
Not all poetry is performable. And while it can make very poignant ripples in the heart of one reading it in private tranquility, listening to poetry being performed can sometimes mean the difference between reading about a cuckoo and actually hearing it sing. It depends on how deeply the poet has delved into the point from where the poem arose.
Please tell us a little about how poetry is gaining significance as a form of protest, in the present day. How can activism through poetry be more effective?
Slam poetry and the spoken word are making their presence felt in the context of seething socio-political issues around the world. However, it's still very niche and if poetry and poets take a more undaunted approach towards claiming their authority, combined with serious patronage, its role as a guide and prophet can begin to surface again.
Navkirat Sodhi, Ashwani Kumar & Ishvar Krishnan will perform a reading at Writer's Café, Chennai, on Tuesday December 5, 7 pm.