Everyone has a story to tell; each one of us writes poetry – some, without even realising. That stream of consciousness that runs in our veins? It’s poetry waiting to be written. We believe in the power of words, and that power is what urged us set up PoetsIN.

It’s because of those inner streams, that we are bringing you all a regular interview feature, Writer Profiles. An interview with a writer. This week it’s the beautiful Soulhearts.

Sit back, grab yourself a cuppa, and feast your eyes on this week’s writer profile.

What is your relationship with words and how has that evolved.

I think I have developed quite a steady relationship with words. Like all relationships it goes through phases or seasons.  I developed a strong affinity to it  through the years. I never envisioned myself to be one that would have a relationship with words when I was younger. Now I’m afraid I’m stuck in an unconditional love affair with words. For better or worse, a conjoined twin that cannot be separated for dear life.

How long have you been writing, what is your favorite style of writing and why?

I think I’ve been writing for 4-5 yrs now.  An app called Heyku started it off for me. I was drawn to the name of the app when I saw it advertised on Facebook. Haiku is my favorite poetic form even when I was younger so seeing the name Heyku peaked my interest. I found out that  it was an app where one can write three lines using only 15 words.  From there I started writing my daily three lines.  I like brevity in poetry, so my poems are short, mostly under 100 words. A writer must get my attention on the first few lines of their work or I lose interest. A few well thought of well placed words can create a lasting image or convey the perfect emotion in a piece. You’ll find a lot of nature in my poems; love and life and the emotions that are intricately carved in between. I occasionally try my hand at form and meter. I find this very difficult especially when it comes to metering. All of a sudden words sound alien to me when talking about rhyme and meter in poetry.   I am all up for learning. I want to challenge myself and doing this I feel is good exercise for my pen. I believe in talent but I also believe in skill. So the perfect combination of both is key.

Many of us within this group have experienced times where writing has helped us overcome times of pain, describe the first time you realized the  true power of words.

There was a time in my life when I felt so alone. I had no one else to talk to so I turned my prayers into conversations with God. Those moments lead me to a self discovery that I can use words to cope and to heal. Writing in a way helped me express emotions that would have been bottled up inside and destructive otherwise.  I realized that through the power of words I can help myself and others that are in pain or are also suffering. If what I write affects you in a positive way then I can say I have done my part in making this life more meaningful and purposeful.

Many writers love to read. What is your favorite book and why?

Now this is a very difficult question to answer. I do love to read and books have always been a constant companion of mine. I shall blame this on my grade school’s  beautiful library with clean shiny floors, wood tables and chairs and lines and lines of top to bottom book filled shelves. I’d spend  my 15 minute recess playing with my classmates and then my  1 hour lunchtime in the library going through the Dewey decimal system to find  a book I would read and borrow next.

So from all the countless books, I’ll say a book that I would always go back to and has remained in my heart is Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet.  I love Gibran’s poetic style. It is almost spiritual.  It is grounded. It awakens the soul. I love his use of nature and metaphor. His work leaves me in awe. You know when you read a poem and then you stop for a while,  begin to ponder and then you go back and read it again— savoring each word over and over again. That’s the effect his work has on me. It feels new every time.

Sum up yourself in a haiku or micropoem.

Doesn’t the sun come to rise each day?
Quickly I came, quickly I went.
Running after the wind,
Riding clouds, watching waves.
Trapping the sunset in my hands.

We all have moments where we truly connect with words we read. What quote inspires you the most. Why?

I can’t say there is a particular quote that inspires me the most as there are so much inspiration out there. Let me just share this quote from one of my favorite poets, Rumi.

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”

This particular quote is a great reminder that there is hope. We learn through our mistakes.  Pain chisels us. Every chip molds us into better human beings. There are different plants and flowers that bloom in the garden. All have their own seasons and they are all beautiful.

Describe your writing process.

I usually need a quiet room to write. I write when inspiration strikes.  I don’t force my pen to write and I don’t always use a notebook. I sometimes do when practicing form but because of technology it’s so much easier to delete and rewrite without the mess of seeing my ugly hand writing in a messy notebook.  I do admire those that can just choose to sit down and compel themselves to write about any topic under the sun whenever, wherever.

Writer’s block, real or myth?

Writer’s block is so very real to me. There would be periods when I just feel dumbfounded, nary a drop of ink flows. This is where technical skill comes in handy.

What is your favorite word?

I don’t really have a favorite word but I do love to learn new words.

Since I have to choose a word, I’ll choose Love then.
It’s from love that stems all things that I am.

Finish this sentence.. Words are the epitome of…

…. the self.

Our biggest thanks to the wonderful Soulhearts. You can find Soulhearts on Instagram, Lettrs, All Poetry and Opusia.

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Writer Profile: Interview - Vibha Lohani Srivastava
Panic and Me

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