Sweta Srivastava Vikram is a poet and novelist, and dare I say an activist?! Her poetry books have been reviewed on Savvy Verse & Wit, and she’s even visited for a Q&A and a guest post about creativity in the past. I’ve known her for what seems like forever, and after meeting her in person more than once and chatting with her on social media and email, I can say that we are kindred spirits, poets, and friends. Check out my reviews of No Ocean Here, Because All Is Not Lost, Beyond the Scent of Sorrow, and Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors. Here are her interview and previous creativity guest post.
Today, she’s going to share the magic of poetry for National Poetry Month!
J.D. Salinger once said, “Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They’re always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions.” He’s probably right.
In the first week of April, I got caught in the rain three days in a row. I love the rains and call myself a pluviophile (aside from urban dictionary, is pluviophile even officially considered a word?) While the lover of rain inside me was happy to wash away the unmentionables in the downpour, it wasn’t that simple. The wind mutilated my umbrella. The cold seeped inside my bones. My body collapsed with the onslaught.
For two weeks, I was on bed rest, fighting 103F fever and sinusitis. I had no taste in my mouth. To top it all, the strong antibiotics reacted and I had to be put on a counter dosage. Life came to an un-poetic standstill.
The only thing that soothed me at this time was a stray star that I would spot outside my bedroom window every night. I live in New York City—this was definitely an unusual and poetic occurrence. True to J.D. Salinger’s words, I started to attach a meaning to this mystical happening and wondered about the pleasant surprise.
Right about this time, my sister-in-law (husband’s sister) who lives in Singapore told me that our five and a half-year-old niece, Noyonika, had written a poem in school. It was about a star.
How To Catch A Star (By Noyonika)
I will sit on a broom
And fly to the moon
And catch my star
It is very dark when I fly to the moon
I am scared, it is so dark!
But I am brave and I carry on
To catch my star
Then I see something
It’s my star!
It’s golden, pink and purple
It’s beautiful, it’s colossal
And it glows in the dark!
I reach my hand out
And catch my star
And I tell the broom:
‘Take me back to my room.”
Was that Noyonika’s star that I saw outside my window? Yes, you could say my fever-induced delirium made me imagine that. Or was it pure poetry? My niece, thousands of miles away, and I bonding over a remote incandescent body in the sky via the path of verses. The way I look at it, poetry paves way for imagination with a touch of human connection. With all due respect, in this sometimes cold, unpredictable, and impersonal world, attaching emotions in oddest of places is what keeps us sane, Mr. Salinger.
Thanks, Sweta, for sharing the magic of poetry with us and the world.
About the Poet:
Sweta Srivastava Vikram, featured by Asian Fusion as “One of the most influential Asians of our time,” is an award-winning writer, Amazon bestselling author, novelist, poet, essayist, columnist, and educator. She is the author of five chapbooks of poetry, two collaborative collections of poetry, a novel, and a nonfiction book. Her work has also appeared in several publications across three continents. Sweta has won three Pushcart Prize nominations, an International Poetry Award, Best of the Net Nomination, Nomination for Asian American Members’ Choice Awards 2011, and writing fellowships. A graduate of Columbia University, she lives in New York City with her husband and teaches creative writing and gives talks on gender studies while managing a career in digital marketing. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook.