A winner of Gayatri GaMarsh Memorial Awards for Literary Excellence, Sonnet Mondal is an Indian poet, who hails from the City of Joy. Young and ambitious, Sonnet derives inspiration from his surrounding. He is also the Editor-In-Chief of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, a bi-yearly magazine. In a chat with IBNS correspondent Sudipto Maity, Sonnet discusses poetry and why Dylan's Noble wasn't justified. Excerpts:
Tell us a bit about yourself.
It is indeed tough to speak about myself, as we are not able to see into ourselves until we close our eyes. And when we open our eyes again, we tend to forget whatever we saw about our inner self. Still, if I have to say — I see myself as a person who writes, writes out of curiosity, writes out of hunger, writes out of love and for whom poetry is the best medium of writing when it comes to expressing those thoughts which cannot be depicted through direct and exact sentences.
When did you start writing poetry? When did you decide to pursue it seriously?
I started in 2005 and to be honest I was not so serious about it till 2010.
Do you remember the first poem you wrote? How old were you?
My first poem was “My Western Friend”. I was 15 then.
Coming to the language, have you always written in English?
Yes. Language is nothing but a cluster of sounds which help us to express ourselves, and I believe, one should articulate in the language in which he feels most comfortable.
Who or what inspired you to take up poetry?
My surroundings and the urge to enjoy the inconclusive.
What's the best piece of advice you have received so far, as far as poetry is concerned?
Not to make it too obvious. Sometimes you have to tell and sometimes you have to show— leaving room for thoughts to flourish.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Watch movies, comedy videos, listen music and read.
What is The Enchanting Verses Literary Review about? Talk us through it.
The Enchanting Verses Literary Review is a bi yearly poetry magazine that is a decade old now. Our contributors range from veterans in the field of poetry to youngsters. We have a long list of contributors whose creations and contributions are considered vital to contemporary English poetry. More can be found at www.theenchantingverses.org
Who are the three persons you would love to perform your poetry for/ you would love to have in the audience. (Can be any one, living or dead)
Rabindranath Tagore, William Wordsworth and William Shakespeare.
So the Nobel created a lot of buzz last year. Do you think Dylan's prize was justified?
I should not be someone, to talk about justification because, its responsibility lies with the people who are accountable for this award. But, as far as my point of view is concerned— song-lyrics and poetry are two completely different things. And, if Dylan’s Nobel was intended for poetry, then he is not a good fit compared to many living masters in the field.
For my last question, If not a poet, what would you have become?
Musician— more particularly a drummer.