“There’s nothing more rare, more precious than a heart that can appreciate and uplift another” – Tialila
Poetries are unstoppable gateways to innumerous human emotions and feelings that otherwise don’t find an outlet within us. These spontaneous creations go on to hold even more importance when they stand to represent a collective cause. One such important Indian contemporary poet, is Tialila Kikon. Kikon’s work picks up twigs of life, love, hope and humanity, and builds simple yet sanguine poetry with them.
Her poems were published in ‘Feminist Voices Across Cultures: A Poetry Anthology‘ and some of her Tanka poems appeared in ‘Winter Writes: Poems, Stories & Sagas’. She also has a Kindle eBook published by the Whitesboro Group of Writers, New York. Her poems ‘Indeed’ and ‘Children of Conflict’ were selected among 300 other poems submitted by poets from around the world and displayed at the Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre, Vancouver, Canada on 12th March 2016 at the WIN-UNESCO World Poetry Month Celebration on the theme of Love and World Peace.
In this short interview with the lovely Tialila Kikon, she speaks about her work, and her book of poems ‘Paper Cranes’
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in the morning of 26th May 1973. I suppose I’m a dreamer because I was born in the month of possibilities. I grew up in Mokokchung (in Nagaland), matriculated from Model English School, graduated with English Honours from St.Joseph’s College, Jakhama, finished my Masters in English Literature from NEHU, Shillong and started teaching literature at Mount Tiyi Govt. College, Wokha in February 1998.
After a long break from studies, I’m currently a PhD candidate at Assam University because I believe it’s never too late to set newer goals in life. We’re blessed with a daughter and a son. My family is settled in Dimapur, which is why my life at the moment is literally and symbolically a bumpy ride between Dimapur and Wokha.
- That sounds like a full life already! How do you find the time to write these lovely poems?
I believe anything that touches the soul is beautiful and that’s what poetry is to me. There’s so much beauty in poetry. My love for poetry is quite old. I’ve always aspired to seek beauty all around, even in the most insignificant things, like reeds for instance. Perhaps, it is this aspiration that makes me a little quirky and forever, a dreamer. I’m inspired by life, love, human nature, relationships, children, photographs and lastly, nature which has inspiration in abundance.
- What part of your life inspired you to become a poet?
I fail to recollect a certain first encounter which prompted me to write because I’ve been a closet poet for as long as I can remember. I used to continuously scribble poems here and there to please my soul.
I took a shy step out of my closet after my poem, ‘Human Beings As We Are’ was selected as one of the Top-100 poems of 2015 at Poetry First Publishing, International. God has been the kind force that will keep me going in pursuing my poetic aspiration.
- What aspects of your Naga roots do you wish to preserve through your poems?
I sincerely wish we can continue to uphold the legacy of humility, respect, honesty and dignity of our forbearers which, sadly, is slowly vanishing along with our rich cultural heritage. My poem ‘Wooden Hornbills’ is a lament about this loss.
- Tell us something about your book – Paper Cranes. What is it about?
Paper Cranes, my first book of poems published by Cyberwit Publishers, Allahabad in 2016 is my silent longing for love, peace and hope to heal our bleeding fragmented world. The idea of my book is drawn from the burden of war upon children and the title was inspired by Sadako Sasaki and her paper cranes that are a universal symbol of peace, hope, and recovery.
Here’s a poem called ‘Rainbow Bridges’ from her book ‘Paper Cranes’ that closely echoes the voice of R&L community [Get your copy from Amazon]
loses its meaning
in the world of hate, the Arts
can ease the pain by building
beautiful rainbow bridges
to reach out beyond horizons
assuring each other
that the same fire burns
within every soul
longing to find, a space
between chaos and serenity,
a piece of heaven on earth