Nalini Priyadarshni


Poetry Cookies

You want me to arrange my words
mold them in certain ways
because you say certain shapes are important
to make poetry more beautiful, and those
who get these forms right are masters
You wish me well when you ask me to
shape my expressions with cookie cutters
to make them look like those of old masters
I, being more concerned with texture
of ingredients I mix and slap into place
and the flavor they lend to my poems
can’t be bothered with shapes just now.
Maybe I am just being stubborn
flailing my dough around and waiting
for the poems to grow organically
Or maybe I am intimidated by the task
of dusting my fingers with rhymes to
discipline words in a certain shape
But I want you to relish my poems
as they dissolve in your mouth
excite your palate, making you ask for more
for poetry is mostly about flavor not shape

Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty is one topic which incites most divergent opinions second, perhaps, only to love. Both have been objects of human desire and quests over the centuries. It is perhaps easier to describe what beauty isn’t than what beauty is. Its definition and parameters keep changing as we grow older depending on our experiences. I have come to believe that beauty is not what our eyes see or what our mind perceives; rather it is what we feel. The wonder, joy and awe that something inspires in our bosom decides how beautiful we find it. It could be a couplet or a mountain or a piece of jewellery. Anything that moves us or inspires us to do more, be more is beautiful. Personally, I am moved by the peculiar. Maybe because it stands out for me and is likely to be real rather than what seems to be perfect but often turns out to be a put on. As a writer, honest writing that minces no words is what I find beautiful. People who are unabashedly themselves are very attractive to me.

Nalini Priyadarshni is the author of Doppelganger in My House and co-author of Lines Across Oceans. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, podcasts and international anthologies including Mad Swirl, Yellow Chair Review and Your One Phone Call.