How much can lines of verse influence a person's opinion? The spoken word has always had a way of highlighting topics in a way that no other medium of artistic expression could — many a mind or head has been turned, down the ages, thanks to a powerful poem.
On the occasion of World Poetry Day, we ask poets across the city to pick from the plethora of issues surrounding us today that need addressing — on why it has struck a resonant chord with them, and to give their take on the subject — in the only way they know best; the written word.
Poetry, Ashay Abbhi, Research Analyst/Author
Poetry sets me free: in reading, in writing and in finding meaning in everything around me. If one had to put the quintessence of my existence down to one thing, it would be poetry. I believe the arts including poetry don’t get the due attention they should.
Like a drunk slurs unabashedly,
My wisdom flew in senseless release,
Life broke free as I wrote my first poem,
My adulterated soul resting forever in peace..
Body shaming, Michelle Ann James, co-founder Mocking Birds
Body shaming is real. It doesn't matter if you are fat or thin or tall or short or mathematically disproportionate, you are targeted if you do not fit into the standard body measurements. I experience it daily and I have seen others experience it too. I have seen people go into chronic depression just because they look a certain way. You are beyond your body. You are perfect! This is what I want to drive home.
What a 'glorious mess', 'beautifully flawed'."
And I am here at the gym with life-size mirrors,
Counting the "flaws", numbering them like stars.
The most massive stars die sooner, in spectacular supernova explosions.
The idea of perfection, Samay Soni, Engineer
The Shinier Clover’ draws its inspiration from the millions today who are lost in their desire to have the perfect life. It sets out to portray perfection as a social issue that has silently plagued our societies for longer than we may realize.
I chose to write about this because it was an emotion that I felt people would relate to. We seem to be continuously searching for the ‘shinier clover’, brainwashed into thinking that since what we have isn’t perfect, we can never truly be happy until we upgrade our lives to make
The Shinier Clover
In a sea of threes, I see bent backs,
seeking a glorified clover.
Was the perfect four so romanticised,
or was the reign of the threes simply over?
Freedom of expression Aswin Vijayan, Student
Iwrote this poem on the issue of freedom of expression and resistance against attempts to curb it. As an individual who believes that we are all entitled to our opinion and that expressing them should not be a possibly life-threatening act, I raise my own voice against silencing the varied voices.
This poem is silent,
lost his voice on his way to a protest meeting.
So the poem goes home,
and returns his awards to the Akademy.
Gender equality, Priya Prabhakar, Student
My politics regarding gender is inherently intersectional. Oppression can manifest from several other identities such as race, caste, sexuality, and class. Femme identities have been oppressed for centuries, and I find the need to use revolutionary politics and art to fight for the silenced. and we must tear at our social fabric for change.
They say revolution is a thing of the masses
That takes place from the oppression of classes
But the being of a womyn is the most beautiful form of revolution
Because we exist unapologetically in a world trapped by institution
World Poetry Day trivia
UNESCO World Poetry Day is being celebrated all over the world and how! Several countries across the world have joined a movement that might just be the best thing to have happened to struggling poets. Cafes across the globe are letting people pay with poems instead of money today. This could be a new original piece or even one published before and you could get yourself a free cup of coffee! Some bakeries are even publishing a compilation of all the poems presented to them. If that doesn’t make your day, nothing will! So, what’s your neighbourhood café doing today?