There’s nothing like a good book launch to get creative juices flowing, that is why I couldn’t get back to sleep at 6 a.m and why the coffee is settling in the cafetière. Poetry time. Of course I emptied the junk mail and scoured inboxes first, but now – an hour later… I am ready.
Our poet in translation today is India’s Mallika Sengupta. Her poetry has been called “unapologetically political”, but it can also be pretty funny. I particularly like her “Open Letter to Freud,” which can be found, along with three other poems in English translation, at the link above. Further poems translated into English can be found here.
Today’s prompt asks us to write a poem including a line that you’re scared of. How’s that for suddenly emptying your head. All those brave lines ran away scared and I was faced with an empty screen for a while.
First cup from the newly used cafetière….
I started listing brave lines, I knew I had them in me. These are lines that hold emotion or personal secrets, are ugly or strange. I was shocked by some of lines and decided that those brave lines that shocked me should be my focus.
Really my focus should be buckling down with my manuscript… creating new poetry has more of a first thing in the morning appeal.
I use my ‘brave’ line to open the poem;
‘I am still scared of the dark’
throughout the poem I explore recent memory, coping strategies, childhood recollections, rituals and eventually the crux of the matter in the closing stanza, which I will share here.
I do not fear the dark in company,
sometimes I quite enjoy it,
intimacy found in the empty spectrum.
I think it is being left alone I fear.