Being a poet means being in the state of insightful freedom: An online interview with Dom Kafley
Dom Kafley is a poet residing in Adelaide, South Australia.
Dupur Mitra: Do you think poetry play role in your society? If yes how and if not why?
Dom Kafley: A big Yes for me. A paramount important role and is relatable to other art forms I guess.
Poetry had always played and will always play role in our society either noticeably or unnoticeably. Because the development and civilization of a society is very much interrelated to its development of literature, poetry being an art form within, has a part to play in this. It has an unalienable relation with other mirrors of personal, intellectual and social development such as the performing arts, drama and theatre.
Legend is that poetry has descended through time and has been so closely associated with human evolution and development. It is as old as the time itself and man has fancied its glory from time immemorial. Just take an example of numerous sublime old religious books and scriptures! The greatest wisdom, virtue, science and the world of arts has been enwrapped in poetry for ages.
Dupur Mitra: Who are your major influences as a poet?
Dom Kafley: Ouch! This is particularly a hard one and I should sincerely say that I find it tough to kick start naming all those poets I have read and have got humble inspirations from. All poets I have met them in their verses have left some rooms in me to remember them for their mark.
I have been fanned by the poetries of Neruda, Gibran, Tagore, Yeats, Walt Whitman, Shel Silverstein, Milton, Cummings, Dickinson, William Blake, Kipling, Sylvia Plath, R Frost and T.S Elliot among many other English poets. I have always been a great fan of Langston Hughes for his straight forwardness in his poems. Brooke’s and Owen’s among other many poets have left space for patriotism. Rossetti’s and Teasdale’s poetry I adore for they come from inner conviction and experience of painful life. Maya Angelou and Billy Collins also keep inspiring me. Till two years back, I thought I used to be as inexpressive as Kafka. As my poet friends in Facebook and other online journals keep inspiring me. Many more have I read whom I cannot list them here. Humble sorry for that. Putting up a small list above does not mean I have abandoned reading others. There are a whole bunch of inspiring poets even in my native language of Nepali. It is hard to single out or point a few. Be the verses of Omar Khayyam of eleventh century or the later poetries of Elizabethan, Victorian or renaissance and coming up to the postmodern ones, Poetry has always lured me. Whatsoever may it be about, whoever might have penned it and wherever it has come from; there is nothing more pure for me than moving poetry that has borne from a thoughtful mind.
Dupur Mitra: What does being a poet mean to you?
Dom Kafley: A free spirit. Being a poet means being in the state of insightful freedom. Being expressive. Being more responsible for a change. It means being more cautious of what is just happening around me. It means being more punctual in telling truth through a shortened story-a simplified verse. It means rising above man and seeing the world with a common eye. I don’t think I am a good poet. A student, a poetry enthusiast and an aspirant of poetry for sure is. Being a poet to me also means good at picking up the best in things and making a good garland out of thoughts. Maturity in it is a form of drunken expressionism, the more mature a poet becomes the more sublime and flowing poetry he bleeds comparable to that of a fresh flowing stream. It tastes all the way the same at all places wherever you may taste the water from the stream. Poetry, to me, is a sort of madness and you can hardly cleanse yourself out of this once you are into this, but can only grow more chronic.
Dupur Mitra: What is poetry?
Dom Kafley: I doubt there is a single definition we can converge to zeroing in to say what poetry is. Seeing up all poets weaving their thoughts into such readable fine lines, I feel like saying what a single thing cannot be able to hold poetry in it? Poetry, as I have already at some point above tried to relate, is a poet’s perceptions of a thing and criticality of its existence. Different people keep different perceptions in things. So we can’t be able to submerge their individual concepts into a single point to frame a definition of poetry.
Poetry is all about ones view of the world, life and its changing dimensions and circumstances. Some find it abstract and surreal while for others it is just more than real. And in seeing things coming between these is just possible and meaningful through poetry, for them. Expression of what they see, hear, bear, feel, experience and need through the use of finest communicating diction is what poetry is to me! But I find myself too young to generalise these of my views on others! It’s an obsession for me personally. Poetry is a poet’s best friend, where he so madly, so innocently plays with the images, sounds of words, keeps noticing the resonance of nothingness, plays the music that transcends the inner depth of idea and philosophy and talks with even the non-existent such that these entire things converse to him, whispers him and plays back to him, cheerfully.
Dupur Mitra: What are your observations about trending of world poetry?
Dom Kafley: Hmmmm…I am too young to talk on this. I think it is all about understanding other people around us, people around the other parts of the world through a common means. It’s all about getting to know the feelings, insights and know-hows of others, their cultures, values and views. We are always looking for ears to hear our say and searching for some souls to bridge our commonality, and poetry is one podium that keeps people in a bond of connectedness.
Dupur Mitra: Is poetry movement can improve the poetry? if yes how, if not why?
Dom Kafley: Not sure. But our aspirations should always be that we seek for better.
Dupur Mitra: What is your opinion about today’s world poetry movement?
Dom Kafley: The poetry moment at all times in history (as far as I can remember and think my reasoning can summon ideas to support this phenomenon) has had an inerasable mark left in the realm of the poetry development. To my personal understanding, the world we are in today is at the verge of next historical collapse-meaning there are always some upheavals-politically, socially, economically, philosophically and ideologically and there is literarily declined stability. People have too much individualised, nations have moved apart and there are growing gaps in the trust between the different fractions-as an individual, community or as well as a nation. But poetry has found a sound time to prosper ever in history. The increased interconnectedness of the people through various means such as digital media and internet has brought them into a ground of realisation. I have always seen the poets at their best in healing the wounds of humanity through consolation, criticising the wrong doers. Poetry has always condemned the war, criminals, hostility, injustice and oppression. Poetry has always sided peace, truth, solidarity, prosperity and heightened brotherhood between people of different culture, region, religion and belief. Isn’t this the good side of poetry?
Dupur Mitra: Describe the writing process in your poems.
Dom Kafley: There isn’t exactly a determinate process in my writing. All I do is, think of a theme, object, or a subject that has caught my attention for long or has interested me then churn out a good way of expressing it and get it go in a piece of paper. Since going into classic form is as hard as picking a pearl from a depth to me, I go a free verse! I choose likely words to paint it into as minimum words as I can. There is not a genre or type of poetry I have discovered I can be very much well fitted into, what I write is as plain as the white cloud. Simplicity in poetry, to me is reading fairy tale to a layman. I think I always choose to be simple and straight forward. Wherever I may build up a good thought for a poem, I come back to my room to get those words run into my white page. As many things I have come across in my life might not have been able to induce a good thought, as many thoughts I have thought might not have borne poetry and as many poems I have written might not have reached to my readers. I think I write raw than refined!
Dupur Mitra: Where do you get your ideas for poems?
Dom Kafley: Everywhere. Anywhere. The long never ending roads outside. The scorching sun. The bleaching thoughts that come and go. Everything I see has some form of poetry in it. The thing is, the poetry concealed in all those visible or invisible things are never evoked out. I see poetry burning in the cold ice and poetry sleeping in the moon and fire. Best ideas are when the uniqueness of the object comes to me recurringly.
Since there are plenty of objects, plenty of space and auspicious crowd of people around us. In all of my few poems penned so far I have always (as far as I can remember, but no promises here) stood near these things and conversed to them. Touched them with my fingers, feet and soul and portrayed what I have seen of/through them in my lines. So the ideas for my poems come all about from the objects around me. From feelings that lay astray in my mind for hours. Country, love, flowers, earth, spring, morning, evening, mother, moon, humanity, peace, nature friends and counting….! Are not these things just around me? The ideas for my poems there they come from.
Dupur Mitra: Where do you write your poems?
Dom Kafley: There is not a destined place or plot where I sit down to write poems. Poetry may happen at any time and at any place to me. The most I have plotted the themes and framed ideas out of subjects must be in a public bus or a train. I have heard people saying they need a calm and quite place for a good thought to bleed poetry, which in fact is not applicable to me. I can’t but stop thinking, stop painting lines in my mind even when I am in a crowd. Yes silence helps. I necessarily do not need to be isolated for this. As I said earlier, the themes I have plotted needs a refined read and I usually do this in my room. And yes, there is no lie at all. If there is one thing I have used the most in my iPhone, it must be the ‘Notes’ icon. The primary skeleton of my thoughts these days there they get the place first!
Dupur Mitra: Do you get inspiration from your readers?
Dom Kafley: Yes I do. More than any one and more than anything. If I have ever been moved so much and inspired by anyone, it’s all my readers and friends who encourage me that my lines did make a good sense to them. It’s always a great pleasure to hear good feedback from readers, well-wishers and admirers. I love to hear what others have to say on my writing-poetry.
I think I am too young a poet (?) to be interviewed, but as an avid reader and an occasional poet. Thanks so much Dupur for providing me this opportunity to share my views on poetry. Wish you a good poetic endeavour. Thanks to you for hearing about the hobby from my heart! Blessed you remain.