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‘Poetry provides me an outlet for my feelings’

Rohan Dikshit, class 10 student at Apeejay Kharghar mentions how he expresses his innermost feelings through poetry



Rohan Dikshit is a skilled poet who leaves his readers spellbound with his visually descriptive use of language and ideas that simply transport the reader into another realm.  

In the Apeejay Promising Poet interview series, the class 10 Apeejay Kharghar student who loves Walt Whitman’s poems, describes the thought process behind writing a poem and also gives us a glimpse into some of his upcoming works. Edited excerpts: 

So Rohan, at what age did you start writing poetry?

I started writing poems in sixth standard. I was eleven years old then. So, I was a part of the volunteers club in our school. My then English teacher would always encourage me a lot. One day she randomly told the prefect to send me to the library. When I went there, she simply told me that I would be participating in an English poetry writing competition. She informed me that the topic of the competition was ‘One day when I was walking’. I wrote a poem on it and won first prize.

What insipired you to choose poetry?

I feel that poetry gives me an outlet for all my feelings. If I am feeling sad, poetry is the way I express it. If I am feeling sad or overly excited or motivated, I just write a poem on the topic I find suitable.

Please tell us about the process behind writing a poem?

My first poem, the one that I wrote for the poetry competition in class six, took me less than five minutes. Generally it takes me anywhere between 15-20 minutes to write a poem. Sometimes, it even takes me 2-3 weeks in some cases. The common themes on which I write are my feelings and emotions. I also like to write a lot about Mother Nature.

When inspiration strikes me, I mostly write a poem then on one go. But if I am thinking about a topic on which I really want to write but don’t know how to begin, in such cases it takes me one to two weeks.

Rohan, your poems Sky and Letting Go were absolutely beautiful. Sky was very visually descriptive while Letting Go had a twist in the end. What was the thought process behind them?

Sky was actually a part of my holiday homework, where we had to write a poem on nature. So at first, I wrote about a man who appreciated the birds around him. But then I took a good look at the sky as I was sitting on my balcony. It was an absolutely clean sky. One side of it was purple and the other was pure red. It was simply amazing. So, I sat at my computer and just typed the poem.

About the poem Letting Go, well I was feeling sad that day. While writing the poem at first, I thought about how a person loves his mother a lot, how he had sad experiences with his mother and how it changed him. That was the initial thought of how the person spent time with his mother and felt happy after that.

But when I was half way through the poem, I felt that the character was feeling very sad. So, I changed the tone of the poem and finished it off like that with the twist in the last line.

Actually, one of my friends had lost his father many years ago. Maybe that was there in my mind and I connected the idea.

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

The English teachers at my school are very helpful towards me. They recommend good books to read. Sometimes they also inspire me about the topics in which I wish to write poems. I remember once Anju Ma’am, my English teacher gave me a book on King Arthur and medieval poetry. It led to a poem called Sword.

Also, my friends Ubed and Sumesh always give me constructive criticism. Upon reading my poem, they give me their honest opinion on my face, no matter good or bad.

Please tell us a bit about your upcoming poems?

First, I will have to finish my Board exams before I can sit down and relax to write poetry. But I recently wrote the poem Sword. Inspired by King Arthur’s life, I wrote this poem on the life of a sword. Peace can bring rust on a sword but that is actually a good thing for when the sword is not needed is actually putting it to best use.  

Now, the all-time poetry question, do you prefer rhyme or free verse?

I prefer free verse a bit if the situation calls for it, I use rhyme as well.

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

Rabindranath Tagore and Edgar Allan Poe are my favourite poets. Also, I love the poem ‘Song of Myself’ by Walt Whitman. 

What advice would you give to a budding poet in your school?

I would say, write about what you know and what you feel. Don’t write about what you want others to know about you. Don’t try to be relatable or express what you actually don’t feel. Bring out your inner emotions and write about them. 

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]