Naa Takia talks how a friend’s poem inspired her to write, why writing is a personal venture and thoughts on a million dollars gift
What does poetry mean to you?
I have always said this about writing and the same applies to poetry. For me, it isn’t just about words and it has nothing to do with conforming to particular norms or traditional techniques. It isn’t just about a struggle to balance sanity and insanity or reality and utopia. It is allowing myself to be provoked into a state of oblivion and this state allows me to probe into depths I could never reach consciously, whiles exploring myself thoroughly out of myself.
How and when did you start?
I just didn’t wake up one single day to write. In fact, I didn’t even know I could. What I knew I enjoyed doing was reading. I read a ton of books and it got really addictive when I got to Senior High School. It was something I couldn’t control. I hid novels under the desk and read them during class hours. When moved, I could do at least two novels a day and this earned me some reputation at the library.
My school Librarian stopped making me sign for books because of that. All I had to do was walk in, take, read and narrate the details of every book I had read to her. And at the end of every term, she would ask me to make a list of all the books I had read. Sometimes, she didn’t believe I read that much; even my friends. But that still didn’t get me to write.
The first poem I wrote was triggered because of a friend’s poem I read during National Service in 2012. It was like a Pandora’s box had been opened after. I couldn’t stop myself. It was as if all those years of reading words; beautiful, mysterious and frightful words were being let out. I couldn’t control it!
Poets are seen as ‘spokes persons’ for mankind; a sort of social critics. Do you consider yourself as such and speaking for the society?
I do not necessarily see myself as a social critic or as a spokes person for mankind. Whatever drives me to self-express my thoughts on paper I think is totally different from whatever drives another poet. In as much as I may have written about a social issue before does not make me a spokes person for mankind. I cannot be all of that.
Giving life to my thoughts is more of a personal venture for me. It is not my primary intent to be related to. It has much to do with my state of mind and emotions; and I channel all this energy I feel – positive and negative, into writing. Yes, People may relate to it but I do not see how that makes me a spokesperson for society.
Who is your favorite poet –dead or alive?
Truth is, I seldom read poetry collections or books. Aside my blog, I publish some of my works on poetry platforms where I am privileged to read from everyday persons like me. Some are really good. I have heard of many poets though, and I may have bumped into a couple of their works. Shakespeare stirs my emotions. A lot others do too; some specific works from them.
It isn’t really about a favorite poet for me. It is more about what poem of theirs agitates me. And a lot of poems do. I cannot place them in pigeonholes.
If given a million dollars, tell me how you’ll spend it?
I have heard a lot of people attempt to answer this “million dollar question”. But I still can’t figure out what I’ll do with it. It isn’t that I have no use for the money but simply because I keep worrying about who will give that drum of money to me and if the person wouldn’t wake up one morning to demand his fortune back. I mean don’t people worry about what kind of money they spend and whether or not they earned it? Think about it.
How much of your own experience inform the poems you write?
I am in denial. My poems are not my personal experiences.
You’ve published a lot on your blog. What do you intend to do with your collection in the coming years?
This question can sometimes be too much to let out in a single answer. I believe time is meant to be taken as it comes. The thrilling thing about the future is its mystery and secrecy. Someday, time would not only tell, it will confirm.
Three items you can’t live a day without?
I recently figured I could go a day without my phone and social media. That confirms that I can go a day without anything.
Will you date a writer, say a poet? (Why Yes? Why No?)
No I wouldn’t. I used to fantasize of how romantic it would be; speaking similar words, having like interests. But No. A writer isn’t a writer’s friend. A writer is a writer’s challenge. Tell you what, a writer friend once told me I was good for him in little bits. So I decided to let me write and him feel.
Share with us three things (secrets) we don’t know about you?
I crave horror movies.
Edges excite me. Like standing at the brink of a mountain and feeling an exciting rush of weakness
I can be creepy and unusual.
Naa Takia blogs at http://www.POETRYETAL.WORDPRESS.COM