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Promising Poet

‘Don’t stop the thoughts that come to your head. Write them down!’

Manas Mutneja, class 12 student at Apeejay Mahavir Marg loves to read Shakespeare and gets inspiration to write poems from the characters in the text

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Manas Mutneja, Apeejay Mahavir Marg student belongs to the breed of rare to find romantic poets. He possesses the combination of sensitivity and mature thought which swiftly soothes and inspires the reader’s heart. In the Apeejay Promising Poet interview, the budding poet mentions that instantaneous inspiration and a love for harmony and peace fuels his poetry writing. Edited excerpts:

At what age did you start writing poems?

I started writing poems only a few months ago. The first poem I wrote is titled ‘Beautiful was the day’. My initial poems were in rhyme. Gradually, I have shifted to free verse.

What was the inspiration to write poetry?

I read books and often get inspiration from the characters as I get attached to the story. At first, the story gets you thinking and then it is the idea which further leads you to ponder. So what happened was that I was on the roof of my house one day. It was a full moon night like in the movies (laughs). I was beginning to think of some lines in my head. There was a flow of thoughts and I started repeating them. Some lines came and I wrote them on the paper as I came downstairs. While I was writing them down, some more lines came and I wrote them as well. This same process repeated for three days. 

All my poems are based on instantaneous inspiration. Like a topic is going on in my head, I then think of some lines. I reach home, take the pen and paper and then write the poem. It goes on in a flow.

What is the process for writing a poem for you?

It generally takes me 5-10 minutes to make a rough sketch of the poem. Then I revise and edit it and the final version is ready in another five minutes. So far I have written poems that have romanticism in them (laughs), poems that show harmony and peace. I have recently written a poem on war and another on peace. In this poem a child is being asked to choose between his brothers and sisters in the war. 

Another idea struck me, as I read about the war between Russia and Ukraine. The idea popped in my head that Ukraine is a small child who is going through things not meant for him. So, I took the pen and paper and wrote on this.  

Who is your favourite poet and what is your favourite poem?

I find Shakespeare the best. I have read some six plays of his. I like King Lear the best. In King Lear, Cordelia is more about the inside feelings, while the father, King Lear, looks for external feelings throughout the play. In the end, he understands that internal feelings matter more.

Do you prefer rhyme or free verse?

I started out with rhyme but I prefer free verse more. The reason is that I feel a restriction when I write in rhyme. I am not able to express myself with that much freedom which I can do through free verse. 

What advice would you like to give to a budding poet at Apeejay Mahavir Marg?

I am not an established poet myself yet but I will say that the ideas which come to your head, don’t let them stop there. Take a pen and paper and write it out!

Your poem ‘Waiting to bloom’ had a deep spirit of romanticism within it. What are your thoughts on that?

I was symbolising the human heart with a flower. Like say, there is a flower in the garden. When the flower bloomed, the gardener came and plucked it yet the roots clung towards the flower. Similarly, the heart is like a flower. A stage comes when the heart blooms and it seeks an exposure but it gets ripped apart by the thinking of the society. The flower and the heart which are ripped apart by society cannot be mended again. The roots on the other hand get dissolved and become a part of the earth again.

How does Apeejay Mahavir Marg help you to write such beautiful poems?

My English teacher Alka ma’am supported me a lot when I began to write poems. I narrated my poems to her and she has always encouraged me a lot. She told me that I was heading in the right direction. Then there is the Apeejay Mahavir Marg newsletter – a platform where I share my writings. I have also written three short stories recently for the same.

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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