A Note on my Creative Journeys — Sukrita

I believe words acquire some strange power in a poem. While a poem may leave one wonder-struck with insights that are otherwise inaccessible, strangely the experience in the poem also seems familiar! Each word chosen for the poem presents the sense, the colour and the feel of the experience almost in a tactile fashion.

When strung together, these words in the form of a poem acquire the throb of life and dynamism of their own. They present visuals in the form of images, make music through rhyme and rhythm and yield sense in a variety of ways. As infants we respond to jingles and lullabies easily and cheerfully even if they may not make meaning for us at that age. But such rhyme and rhythm come as naturally to us as the chirping of the birds or the whistling of the breeze. The impact of a poem in adult consciousness must yield a similar experience.


As someone said poetry is born when words start dancing for you. If we are willing to respond to life-experiences sensitively and with alertness, the sense of wonder in us remains as alive as that of a child. With this sense of wonder, different truths of existence are explored through poetry and art, some of which may be uncomfortable and others celebratory. The process of can be both pleasurable as well as agonizing!


For me, the poem comes to “be”, if and when I am receptive to the delicate vibrations emanating from the empty space on the page, not through perked up ears but the very skin of the body - like that of a snake. The sound of silence can be felt only as the right words find their place in and around the empty spaces!Meaning is easy to ferret out in comparison but for the creative process to lead to a revelation one has to agonize, fly, fret, fall and rise many times over! I truly feel that a poem may make the mountain move and tame the virulent waves, but in itself it needs to have a still core. The frenzy of the spirit of writing a poem must get translated into perfect poise; that of movement and apt punctuation through line or stanza breaks, commas etc within the poem. These are the moments of reflection as well as relief that get the birds to fly out of the cages…


Swimming in deep waters

I drown again

And yet again

But come afloat always


At times the poem decides to become a painting and the pen dips as a brush into the mindscape of colours:

Picking the blue of the skies

from one end,

Offering it to the other…


When I wished to make a painting of the Chinese doing Tai chi at dawn in the Hong Kong park, I wrote the above lines just so that I’d remember the visual for a painting later. But the result was a weaving of a poem around these very lines. In fact, many a poem of mine has been born out of an image or a colour.  The “colour” white became the inspiring source for a series of little poems, “Winter Poems at Minnesota”.  However, there are times when colours and not words become the medium for expression for me. Each colour on the canvas has to be in consonance with “idea” or the experience lurking behind the making of a painting. Each stroke of the brush is an attempt to help articulate some rather abstract truth. Words, it is clear to me, are not the right medium for it. The language of colour moves through the brush and gradually leads to create a composition which may be poetic but is not a poem.


The ‘to and fro’ of my sensibility between poetry and painting perhaps feeds into my style and content in both poetry as well as paintings. While I may infuse my poems with the visual element, my paintings perhaps acquire a lyrical flow stylistically, I don’t know…