The Literature Times: Congratulations on the release of your book. What inspired you to start writing poetry, and what was the inspiration behind “Symphony of Merging”?
Sreekala Sukumaran: Thank you for your appreciation. Since the age of twelve, I was scribbling short verses in my notebook, to be kept safely for myself. It was all about what I see around me, everything under the sun. I always like to connect my experiences through appealing metaphors and imagery. Thus, I started composing poems and it came up to over a hundred. At that point there evolved a common opinion to compile the poems and bring them out in a book so that all my fellow people would get an idea of my perceptions.
The Literature Times: How did you decide on the title “Symphony of Merging” for your collection of poems?
Sreekala Sukumaran: Symphony of Merging is one of the poems in the book. Brilliant brain and the marveling heart, joined together hand in hand, singing romantic songs of love, sharing life to live in peace. This favorite notion about merging is the inspiration for this poem.
The Literature Times: What themes or topics do you explore in your poetry, and why are they important to you?
Sreekala Sukumaran: Life, its different shades, can be interpreted as a musical journey. Life is music, Time is rhythm, The variant shades of the soul are the tune, and the universe is the tranquility. This is most important to me since this is the essence of life.
The Literature Times: How has your background and upbringing influenced your writing, particularly your experiences growing up in Chennai and now living in Kerala?
Sreekala Sukumaran: In Chennai, I started writing poems from the time of my twelfth year. That was the start of my passion for versification. It sprouted there and grew and flowered, but the fruition was since when I settled in Kerala. Now I presume that the roots are deep and steady.
The Literature Times: Your poems are both deeply personal and universal in their themes. How do you strike a balance between these two aspects in your writing?
Sreekala Sukumaran: A balance is possible where one works hard and dedicates oneself to the job but for a moderate time limit. At the same time, while still working hard in their job, the individual makes time for themselves and for those around them. Finding a balance gives benefits to not only you but also those around you.
The Literature Times: Your use of metaphors and symbolism in your poetry is particularly effective. Can you talk about your process of incorporating these elements into your work?
Sreekala Sukumaran: While metaphor can be used for light-hearted purposes, symbolism is often used to communicate more serious messages. Metaphors are used to make a direct comparison. Symbolism is used to convey the meaning of larger and more abstract concepts. Poetry is creating a literary piece using metaphor, symbols, and ambiguity, while a poem is the result of this process.
The Literature Times: What message or emotion do you hope readers take away from your poetry, particularly from “Symphony of Merging”?
Sreekala Sukumaran: Human relations and its intrinsic bonding, and the harmony of its merging. In everything in the world, this factor is inevitable. Human connection is a deep bond that is formed between people when they feel seen and valued. During authentic human connection, people exchange positive energy with one another and build trust. What I intend for my readers to take away is that human connections make you feel heard and understood and give you a sense of belonging.
The Literature Times: How do you approach the editing and revision process when working on your poems?
Sreekala Sukumaran: I am usually very keen to revise my work repeatedly until it reaches a satisfactory point. I see my readers in front of me and for them, I create my works, the idea of which should be driven well into their respective minds.
The Literature Times: Can you speak about the challenges and rewards of being a poet in today’s world?
Sreekala Sukumaran: Challenges:
- Lack of ideas
- Lack of productivity
- Lack of confidence,
- Getting real clients
- The fear of selling
The practice of poetry strengthens language, writing, and speaking skills. Developing perspective, empathy, and world views. Writing poetry often prompts us to look at the world from a variety of perspectives, which brings empathy and expands one’s worldview.
The Literature Times: What advice would you give to aspiring poets who are just starting out?
Sreekala Sukumaran: Be a good human being. Cultivate compassion in your basic character. Read widely. Try writing down what speaks to you and why, then see if there are any patterns in your preferences.