Tag Archives: SERENDIPITY

Quick Bite with Sharanya Manivannan

Sharanya Manivannan is the author of four books, including the award-winning short story collection, The High Priestess Never Marries and the newly-released poetry collection, The Altar of the Only World.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I wrote my first poem at 7 years old, and it was built around all the words I could think of that rhymed with “cat”.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

I’ve written and read poetry for so much of my life it’s very much one of the modes through which I know myself. One of the greatest gifts poetry has given me has been consolation. At other times, it has been a way for me to salute beauty by trying to bring more into the world.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

The problem begins with how poetry is taught in schools. Students should never be forced to memorise poems, or be force-fed “meanings” of poems. This is a cruel and meaningless method, both to people and to poetry itself. Teach the word through voice, teach it as love, teach it as a shield against loneliness. It is difficult to change people’s minds later in life, when they’ve been traumatised by the way poetry has been introduced to them as children.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

Whenever a poem calls to me. This can be day or night. I’ve bolted upright from my sleep many times because the words were suddenly pouring out of me. Other times, it’s less dramatic — a subtle shift aided and accompanied by music.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

In a lot of ways, Insta-poetry is a reaction to the horrible way poems are taught in schools. I like the accessibility of the medium, but I dislike how it encourages laziness, the need for constant validation, and a skewed relationship with one’s own work — it ceases to be craft if you’re counting likes.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

I’m trying to become better as a writer of fiction, and as an illustrator. I hope poetry forgives me these extramarital alliances.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for the wonderful events!

Thanks Haris for the amazing pictures!

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundation

Quick bites with Erik Lindner

Erik Lindner is a poet born in 1968 in The Hague, The Netherlands. He has published five books of poetry and the novel Naar Whitebridge (De Bezige Bij, 2013). His work has been translated into many languages and in France, Germany and Italy. He has read on numerous international festivals all over the world and was a poet in residence in Berlin (DAAD Artists-in- Berlin Program), Taipei, Montreal, Athens, Marseille and Paris.According to a critic the poems of Erik Lindner can intensify our patterns of perception and sharpen our senses for what is possible.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

My first text were written in English and more than poems they were meant to be song verses, texts to sing. But I knew at the age of fifteen or so they weren’t any good, they were clichées. Than I wrote one line in Dutch: “De wereld is zojuist de trap afgelopen en sloeg zonder woorden de deur dicht.” This is maybe also not one of the best or very original lines, but it was different, it had a different sound, it was a little strange. What made me write it is that someone left and with that I knew things would change after.

2. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

What it means? I don’t know. I have never had high ambitious to become a poet, it is just the one thing I did that I always kept doing, the thing that was the most closest to me. Expressing in words somehow was more urgent than through images or melodies, although melody and rhythm is important in my work, also in the process of becoming a poem, in carrying it to a result. I can have all sort of feelings when I am working on a poem, from joy to sadness, the important is that putting down words again after a phase of contemplating or humming certain words together, is always a liberation. So to write makes me happy, yes. It has more than emotions or inspiration to do with a certain concentration that remains always rare. I cannot always be in that concentration, often have to wait until it is there.

3. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

No, poetry doesn’t speak to all kinds of people and indeed also not in all walks in life, if walks are meant to be different situations and circumstances. It could speak to more of them than they think, and also more often, but I have lost the evangelical approach that one would need to convince people poetry is good for them, if they don’t like it, let them do something else. But then again it is very necessary indeed to escape the literary circle, to survive as a poet, to learn from other people, to show it to other people than specialists. When I started in the 1980’s, I worked with musicians and we had poetry readings in youth clubs, alternative or squated theaters. That had quite a following, I could live from that in 1986 at the age of 18. These were audience that hardly read literature. But when my work grew and became less theatrical and more condensed and I was going towards my first official book in 1996, I depended on the inner circle of editors, publishers, specialists. Still, traveling is important, meeting new people, seeing how different poetry is in every culture in the world. And another example, I work with a very good art photographer Stephan Keppel and at openings of his exhibitions he asks me to read some poems. And his audience is not used to poetry readings, they take my words as images without frames around the picture. I like that escape of the inner circle very much.

4. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

I used to write in the late evening or early evening, but that robs one from having a social life. April 2000 I wrote my first poem waking up in the morning with a cup of coffee next to me. I remember quite well the sensation of concentration it gave. Of course, one must be good awake and not sleepy. What makes me write a poem can be many occasion, just as a poem can be theoretically about everything. But not every line can be in a poem, they must be the right lines on that specific moment. I am building up to it every time, making notes, walking around, trying to see carefully the details. And very prosaic: a deadline helps.

5. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

I haven’t study it, I must say. It will interest me when a good poem comes out of it. I am not against using new media, that is only good. I have also collaborated on two video poems*. But a lot of these waves are temporary, somehow everyone always gets back to paper, even if other medium are at times more practical to carry.

6. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

Basically everywhere. I like to go back to places I have been before, create a deeper bound with them. I need to travel more in Asia, Africa and America. But than again, even with how much I was lucky to travel with poetry since 1988, I still need more decent English translations. I have books published in German, Italian and French and that felt as an enrichment coming from a small country.  But a future poetry book in English will take my work a bit easier to readers than before.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organising wonderful events.

Thanks Kirbaa Karan and charles for the pictures.

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundations.

Quick bites with Brian Turner

Brian Turner is a writer and musician living in Orlando, Florida. He curates The Kiss series at Guernica, soon to be published as an anthology by W.W. Norton & Company in 2018. He’s written a memoir (My Life as a Foreign Country), two collections of poetry Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise, and co-edited The Strangest of Theatres (McSweeney’s/The Poetry Foundation). He is currently at work on a second memoir, The Wild Delight of Wild Things, and an album of music with The Interplanetary Acoustic Team entitled 11 11 (Me, Smiling). He is the founding director of the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem?

I am not sure that I actually remember writing my very first poem, as I was very young when that took place during elementary school. After that, a number of years passed by and then I began writing poems and song lyrics as a teenager. I loved music and also the ability of language to reach for the inexpressible, the ineffable, the sublime.

2. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

When I am deep in the process of making, and I have wandered far out into the landscape of the imagination, I have a sense of timelessness–and that feeling is addictive! This experience is mirrored in many walks of life, but I normally access it through the meditative practice of writing and contemplation. I often feel connected to something very personal and yet, simultaneously, something far beyond the sense of self when I write. The imagination is a vast ocean of memory and life, and its deepest waters are located within the subconscious. 

3.Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

Part of what makes Poetry with Prakriti wonderful is that it answers this very question–by bringing poetry out of the theater and into the streets and communities of the entire city. When I was a student, I would read the poems from my poetry workshop (my own poems and the poems of my classmates) to strangers waiting with me at the bus stop. I wanted to see how poems resonated with people who were not necessarily connected to the institutions where poetry is supported and nurtured and given an academic haven. Furthermore, I wanted to ensure that my poems could be read, heard, enjoyed, and meditated on by anyone who might offer their attention to them.

4. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

There’s no specific time of day, though I am a night-owl and I like to stay up very late–mostly because that’s when the city sleeps. The collective unconscious is deep at work late at night. If I’m lucky, perhaps I can listen well enough to discover images and music arising from the city as it dreams.
 I am normally pulled by an image or phrase that compels my ear with its music. Normally I am driven by curiosity for something mysterious which I do not understand fully. A poem is a meditation, and the meditation is a search through the darkness to further the map of the known. It is an exploration into the unknown, a kind of singing into the dark. A kind of deep listening for the voices that respond to that singing.

5.What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

As in all forms of poetry, I am moved by poems that enlarge and augment the imagination. Here’s a simple test of the poem: Once you turn the page, is there a reason to turn back and read it again? That is, does the poem continue, like a deep well, to draw water each time we lower the bucket into it? Another way of saying this–I love to read and experience poems that are layered, multivalent, with spokes of fire radiating from a central hub. These are the poems that I love to read and hear aloud, and these are the poets I continue to learn from and enjoy.

6. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

Each poem and each book is a journey toward something I need to learn. I know that if I am attentive enough to the world within and without, and attentive enough to the musicality of the language, the architecture of form within language–and if I never waver from looking at what must be looked at–then the poems will teach me more about the world I live in and about myself within that world. The world continually surprises me, and poetry is a lens that illuminates that surprise, offering delight and pain, and, when I’m fortunate, a kind of wisdom.

Thanks Prakriti Foundation for organizing such wonderful event.

Thanks Kirbaa karan, Haris and Smita Anand for the pictures.

All images are copy right protected to madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundation.

Songs of the Heart – A celebration of love, poetry and music

What happens when two cultures meet?

Some would paint a picture of conflict. But poets and musicians would beg to differ.

To them, the coming together of two cultures is a chance for dialogue, a chance to explore, experiment and reinvent. It’s a chance to create something beautiful to enchant hearts on both sides. And what better way to do that than by exploring each culture’s take on love?

Performing at the Alliance Française of Madras, AKADÊMIA – a renowned French music ensemble – teamed up with Indian artists to perform ‘Songs of the Heart’: a celebration of love through a dialogue between western Renaissance music and the works of Indian classical poets.

Beginning with a joyful choral musical piece, the evening came alive to a series of musical pieces accompanied by classical Indian poems on love.

A dialogue in truth, the performance treated the audience to a conversation between renaissance music as performed by the ensemble and the poems narrated. Throughout this dialogue, each side ‘spoke’ in turn – the musicians through their music, and the narrators through the words of the poems they recited.

Reciting a Yaksha’s loving, longing-filled description of his lover in Kalidasa’s Meghadhuta, Meera Bai’s words in devotion to her Lord Krishna, and other works and passages on longing and desire, the narrators offered the audience a glimpse into various aspects of love. A glimpse that was expanded upon by the musicians, who, under the graceful guidance of Françoise Lasserre, put into melody what words alone could not express.

What set ‘Songs of the Heart’ apart from any other musical performance or poetry reading was not the music or the poems alone. It was the way in which the poems and the musical pieces complemented each other. As the subject of each poem changed, so did the tone of the music, to either match the words and sentiments of the poem, or play a counterpoint to them.

Together, the music and poetry took the audience on a journey from the initial spark of desire and joy to the bittersweet moments of longing, and the deep sorrow of loss. A journey that culminated in poetic commentary on the fleeting nature of life, and the futility and foolishness of clinging to past sorrows. With verses urging the protagonists to let go of their sadness, the performers concluded this journey at the inevitable, final moment of letting go and moving on. A moment of rediscovery of joy, that powered the penultimate musical piece of the night.

After an hour and a half of musical dialogue, this enchanting evening came to an end with a soft musical piece by AKADÊMIA. A fitting, musical end to a magical performance and the tenth edition of Poetry with Prakriti Festival .

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organizing such amazing event.

Thanks to Akash Kapur for the wonderful write up. Thanks to Gopinath & Haris Manian for the Pictures.

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo Bloggers and Prakriti Foundations.

The Festivals of Madras | Photo Series

Alike the national festivals – Independance day and republic day and religious festivals – Diwali, Holi, Navaratri Eid, Muhurram and Christmas etc ,.A large number of festivals and Fairs are celebrated in madras throughout the year.Also, Chennaities celebrate local festivals like Panguni Urstavam, Ther , Thai Pongal, Music and Dance Festival with great fervor in Chennai city. Below photos represent the various scenes of local festials and backstages. Thank you participants for submitting amazing photos for the festival theme.

Credits : Raghav Prasanna

Credits : Deepak Sundar

Credits :  Kirbaa Karan

Credits :  Lakshmi Ramanan

Credits :  Mukhil

Credits :  Prabhakar Ramakrishnan

Credits :  Ramesh Raja

 

Credits :  Sanath Kumar

Credits :  Shamini Shammu

Credits : Siva Prasad

Credits : Siva Prasad

madras

Namma Madras

Let’s begin with

” Hey macha ! Chennai is a name, But Madras is an emotion”

This place holds a mega emotional aspect for many people. Well one can argue with the flaws, but which and what creation of God doesn’t have a flaw. So why don’t we just stick to the part ” Why we love-u Madras”.
Let’s begin with our language, Tamil, one of THE oldest. Such knowledge *lifts collar*.
Coming to our Madras slang, we could be a little intimidating with our slang and words but we are just the best at heart.
Once you set foot in Madras, have you seen anymore friendly people? Maybe. Everyone is ready to help. Trust me, some people make you feel home with their gestures and smiles, some things that people do for you here will flood your heart with such warmth that your soul will fell at ease. Even though we don’t understand your language we madras-late it and will help you way better than Google maps.
Not all the cities you visit in your life will get marked “Special” in your memory, but Madras will definitely top it.
Yes, we are gloating, but wait, have you not seen?

Madras is one of those cities in India whose lifestyle is very passive. One of the best reason to take pride being Madrasi’s are that we are simple and civic. Many of our businessmen, our people in distinguished designations are humble and some of them can be seen using public transport unlike many other places.
Madras has given birth to many explicable talents, and we welcome people from all over the world to be a part of us. Not just tradition, culture and heritage, Madras has also been a place which has given rise to powerful leaders and world class achievers like Vishwanath Anand, Ilaiyaraja, Rajinikanth, AR Rahman, Sundar Pichai and many more.
We house many significant places in the history and also famous educational institutions, zoos, bridges and many more.
Our food. Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly made filter coffee, for breakfast you are made to indulge in ghee soaked crispy dosai with piping hot sambar, fragrant coconut chutney with curry leaves & mustard, with a touch of tangy tomato chutney.
Then moving onto a wide spread “Elai Saapadu” ( banana leaf) where rice is served with a range of sides and applam (papad). Then to finish it off with beeda pan.
Wait it’s not over, for the dinner, 14 pieces of small idly soaked in sambar and brushed with ghee on top with a crispy hot vadai.
Well then what are you waiting for, Madras awaits you. Visit us and go back with fantastic, unforgettable experiences.