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Promising Poet

‘One needs to have a clear picture of what one is writing on’

Tanishi Banerjee, student of Apeejay School, Noida, is on her tryst with poetry, peacocks and rhyme schemes

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Poetry is not about flashy words or fancy rhymes. At the end of the day, what we expect from the art form, is a spirit of strength and hope. Let us today meet a poet whose words truly give us the courage to carry on. In the Apeejay Promising Poet interview series, Tanishi Banerjee, class 8 student of Apeejay School, Noida, discusses her accidental journey into poetry writing. Edited excerpts:

At what age did you start writing poetry?

I was not much interested in poetry initially. But one fine day, we received a message in our official school group to submit poems or short stories for the Apeejay Newsroom website. I did not pay much attention to it at first. But soon, I saw my friends writing poems for the same and I told myself, if they can do it, so can I. At first, I couldn’t find a suitable topic but the idea of writing on a peacock struck my mind. I love the bird peacock, it dances gracefully and it is also our national bird.

What was the inspiration to start writing poems?

I wasn’t into writing poems at first. I preferred writing stories. I wanted to try something new, so I started writing poems. Gradually, I thought that I should maintain the rhyme scheme as well. I used to search for some rhyming words on the internet but with practice I was able to rhyme the words on my own.

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

I don’t read much poetry but my favourite writer is J K Rowling. I am a Potterhead. The second book, Harry potter and the Chamber of Secrets is my favourite book. I like the fact that the central characters maintain friendship, unity and do everything together – be it the fights or helping each other.

Tell us about the process of writing a poem?

It takes me a maximum of 30-35 minutes to write a poem. The mindset really matters to me as I write a poem or a story. One has to make a clear picture in their mind of what they are writing about. That clarity makes the write up attractive. The themes on which I generally write include animals and birds. I am comfortable to write on a specific topic as well. I recently wrote a poem on coming back to school.

How does your school Apeejay Noida help you to write such beautiful poems?

My English teacher, Tanushree ma’am, is very helpful. She first teaches me the rhyme scheme of the poem. That helps me in writing poems. Sometimes, she herself helps me in rhyming the words and selecting the number of paragraphs the poem must have.

Your poem ‘An Indian Peacock’ was just lovely. The message that growth takes time, for a peacock is not born with feathers and therefore man too must not give up quickly, is very optimistic and inspiring. What was the thought process behind the poem?

First, I thought that I would just write about the beautiful physical features of a peacock. But then, I wondered how people often lose hope and give up on themselves.  So, I thought that this message would be helpful for all individuals and will inspire them to not give up and keep going!

What are some of your next write ups?

There are some works in the pipeline. Though recently, I wrote a thriller short story before the summer vacations started. My teachers and friends liked it a lot. It was about a dark palace in which there are many mysterious shadows in a cave. One tries to find the reason behind that in the story. It was so because light fell on certain objects giving them a mysterious shape.

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

I would say that one must know the rhyming scheme of a poem well. One must have a clear idea if the last two words will have the same rhyme from the first to the last line or the rhyme will be only in the first and second line. Without matching the rhyme scheme, the poem might become a story or a paragraph. 

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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