Author Interview: Chatting with Balroop Singh

Interview with author Balroop Singh

Author Balroop Singh. Photo courtesy of Balroop Singh.

Welcome to the land of Poetic Parfait, and today’s visitor is author Balroop Singh. I have followed her blog Emotional Shadows for a while now, and it is nice to have the opportunity to chat in depth with her about writing, her poetry book Sublime Shadows of Life, and more. I put out a platter of assorted cheeses and crackers for us as we talk. You are welcome to help yourself to some too! Let’s get started with the interview, shall we?

Welcome, Balroop! Let’s start with an open-ended question. Please tell us a little about yourself and your writing background.

When I was young, quite young, I had no idea that books contained so much of knowledge that could be beyond our comprehension. I was happy with whatever reading material I could find and felt that I had all the information of the world.

When I gained some awareness about the vastness of this globe, I hardly had any time to read, didn’t have any guidance about the choice of books but I was highly imaginative or so I thought! I loved to read and during my flights of fantasy, I could see myself writing. I would consciously tell myself – ‘one day I would write my own book.’

But I had no time! Early, traditional marriage made my life extremely busy and hectic. I forgot all about reading… writing was a far cry!

I gave up my first and a very secure job at the age of 23 to start my family but I couldn’t stay away from the company of students, my most cherished companions who kept my creativity alive.

I chose a busy life to be with the youngsters who were my perennial source of inspiration. As I moved on, balancing various duties of a wife, mother, homemaker and teacher, I started recording my fleeting thoughts on whatever piece of paper or notepad I could find.

It was so easy to write! I didn’t have to struggle with the haphazard placement of syllables on a keyboard, trying to locate them. All my thoughts could flow so spontaneously from my pen!

My students continued to inspire me and many of the poems, which have been compiled in ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life’, were written when I conducted creative workshops to motivate them to write poetry. Those challenging hours and the competitive spirit brought the best out of me.

If you had to choose your favorite poets, whom would you choose?

The classic poets, who have inspired me for varied reasons, have always carried me away:

William Wordsworth for his Nature poems

Robert Frost for his realism and imagery

Rudyard Kipling for his poem “If”

William Blake for his sensitivity and “Songs of Innocence”

I will now read a bit of Blake… No, best to stay on track here (note to self to read more later). Balroop, let’s talk about your book. Who do you think would enjoy reading Sublime Shadows of Life? Continue reading

Q and A about the Creative Process: Looks Like It’s My Turn

Q & A about the creative process

On with the creative process Q & A.

Thank you to naturelover of the Story Teller blog for inviting me on the Creative Process Blog Tour. It looks to be a fun place for a bit of blogging Q & A. It was nice of naturelover to nominate me.

Let’s start with the Rules:

Pass the tour on up to four other bloggers. Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post. Answer four questions about your creative process that lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.Compose a one-time post on a specific Monday (date given by your nominator).

And on to the Q & A about the creative process. Here goes (something)…

Q #1: What am I working on at the moment?

A #1: I am writing posts regularly here and on my other blog When Women Inspire. Feel free to connect with me at the other blog too, if you haven’t already done so. As well, I am working on my second book, to release hopefully in the next few months. Pssst cover reveal coming soon!

Q #2: How does my work differ from others in my genre?

A #2: My blog is about poetry primarily, but it takes many forms; in the pages here you will find my original poems, as well as thoughts about poetry and analyses of poems. As well, I blog about book reviews, writing processes, and conduct interviews with authors. There is a variety, for sure. I hope that the selection makes Poetic Parfait compelling for readers.

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25 Fascinating Facts about World Poetry Day 2015

World Poetry Day is about love of the art form

For the love of World Poetry Day 2015. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Today is March 21, and that means… it is World Poetry Day, an occasion to celebrate! Here are 25 fascinating facts about World Poetry Day that you might not yet know:

      1. It is a global initiative to encourage reading, writing, teaching, and publishing of the poetic art form.
      2. 1999 was a magical year; it held the declaration that began World Poetry Day. UNESCO adopted it during its 30th session in Paris. Here is a copy of the proclamation.
      3. March 21 is also the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
      4. National Poetry Month occurs in April, AFTER World Poetry Day (they are NOT synonymous)
      5. Are you looking for a resource to teach children about poetry? Here you go: Eight Steps for Teaching Kids Poetry.
      6. Even if World Poetry Day lands on a weekday (it’s a Saturday in 2015), it is not a public holiday.
      7. In Spanish, World Poetry Day is Día Mundial de la Poesía.
      8. The day is also meant to strengthen the ties between poetry and other art forms, such as music, drawing, and dance.
      9. Here is a quote from the UNESCO Director-General for World Poetry Day 2015: ” Poetry is the universal human song, expressing the aspiration of every woman and man to apprehend the world and share this understanding with others, through the arrangement of words in rhythm and meter.”
      10. Two ways to celebrate the day are by analyzing a new poem of your choice or encouraging kids to read poetry.
      11. The environment and poetry go hand in hand for Brock University’s Sustainability Poetry Contest.
      12. 2015 is the 100th anniversary of poet Akaki Tsereteli’s death (1840-1915).
      13. Nguyen Du was born 250 years ago (1765-1820).
      14. Here is a fascinating collection of art from the Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand that ties together word and image.
      15. Many people see poetry as being outdated – it’s not! Take a look at all of the amazing WordPress poetry blogs!
      16. Why not read a collection of poems about peace on World Poetry Day? John Lennon would approve.
      17. Poetry is powerful; it encourages readers’ imaginations and spurs emotions.
      18. Take a poetry walk. Write down one line from every image you see around you and then compile it together for an amazing poem at the end of the walk.
      19. Follow the hashtag #WorldPoetryDay on Twitter on March 21 to learn about events happening around the world and read fantastic poems.
      20. Are you in Dublin and want to enter a free poetry competition? You’re welcome (courtesy of Ballyroan Library).
      21. Instead of a pub crawl, how about a poetry crawl in which you write a different poem in each coffee house that you visit?
      22. Low on cash? Head to your library and borrow a poetry book, whether it’s March 21 or not.
      23. This is a tough but important read about persecuted poets around the world.
      24. Slam poetry is rocking the modern world. Take a moment to read an article about it or watch a video of a poetry slam competition online.
      25. Thank you to Lord Byron for these beautiful words from “She Walks in Beauty” to read on World Poetry Day: She walks in beauty, like the night
        Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
        And all that’s best of dark and bright
        Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
        Thus mellowed to that tender light
        Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

Please take the time to celebrate World Poetry Day 2015 on March 21! Heck, let’s celebrate the beautiful artistry penned by poets around the world every single day ♥

~Poetic wishes,
Christy xo

Poem: Quiet Flame

Flames in Poetry Symbolize Love

Quiet Flame: A Poem about Love. Photo: Umberto Salvagnin, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr.

This poem is inspired by a writing challenge called “Love in Ten Sentences.” Thank you to both Nicole at The Whispering Pen (check out her motivational posts!) and Sylvester at Syl65’s Blog (hello beautiful poems of faith!) for inviting me to participate in the event!

The challenge is to write a poem about love within ten sentences. Then, once complete, pass on the challenge to ten other bloggers. As I wrote my poem “Quiet Flame,” it was tricky to space out the idea I had with ten periods to the poem… but I did it! Here is the poem.

Quiet Flame

The fire was closer than
I realized, its flames licking my wounds of
Merriment in the rear window.
The glass broke when your hand reached for mine,
As your fingernails hid beneath my weighted palms.

Next were your words.
They extinguished my thoughts and that glass,
Turning my head toward so much more –
Turning my eyes toward your face.

New flames are mapping out on
My globe in temperatures that
Defy records. I try to remember to breathe.

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