Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee
EduSmart Life & Culture

To be a poet is to live in poetry: Manash

Manash says, we need to express what we are feeling

Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee

Your first poem was as an adolescent. How did this interest grow? Why poetry?

Manash: I think I pretty much discovered without really realizing it in a very concrete way. Even when I was in school, I realized that there were certain feelings which were appearing about what all I was thinking and how I was trying to make sense of these feelings. Language, automatically in a way, took the form of poetry. Our ideas and feelings about love are pretty much in amorphous state when we are young and adolescents. But it’s interesting that we need to express what we are feeling. The only way I can explain it now is by saying that the form and language of poetry is perhaps closest to the language of desire and I think, no other form of writing comes as close to process and express the language of desire as this.

How can one become a poet?

Manash: I find a lot of people taking themselves so seriously that they are more eager to call themselves a poet as quickly as possible than learning about poetry and reading, writing and going about it. This is funny. I had no anxieties about being a poet. I just loved reading and writing poetry and I was pretty happy with that. A friend here and there, just in passing, may be would call me a poet, but that also happened pretty later. People would just say that he writes poetry and that he writes well, or badly, or whatever. And they would read my poetry in university, for example, and that gave me joy, and that was enough for me. I don’t think a poet needs to be really anxious or find it necessary to call himself a poet at any stage. Let the world decide as you write. For me, to be a poet is to live in poetry.

Is there any writing routine that you follow for writing poetry?

Manash: I tend to write poems very fast. The idea comes to me, and once I am seized by the idea, I just sit down to write and then other things keep appearing as I write. I am very restless and so I tend to write fast unless a poem becomes very difficult and it turns out to be more stubborn than I thought. It refuses to be written soon. So, it slows me down and I have to slow down as well. It has happened that some poems have taken more time, they have taken days to be over. But many of the poems have happened very fast, in an hour. 

PhD Research Scholar & Bilingual Literary Artist