Sonnet Mondal Interview, with Nicelle Davis
You are named Sonnet; how did you become so fortunate?
Well, I will give the credit to my parents who named me Sonnet. Many people think it to be my pen name but it is my birth name and my only name.
You make the bold move to use the word “soul” in your poetry. What are the dangers of using such a word—how do you earn a word like “soul” in a poem? How do you ensure that the word “soul” reads with sincerity?
A poet never writes poetry for masses but strangely a good poet connects well to masses. I constantly try to express my innermost feelings with strength and power of wordings. At the same time I like introducing abstract meanings in my poems. Using bold words often serves this purpose. ‘Soul’ gives a sense of purity and using such words also lights a lamp of optimism in pessimistic poetry.
Who are your favorite poets?
My favourites keep on changing as I read more but I have an inclination towards Eliot, Whitman, Shakespeare, Tagore and Wordsworth.
What is your favorite poem?
Humourously, “Jack and Jill”. Normally poems are filled with complexities. I myself to prefer penning complex ones but this is the most innocent poem I have ever read and it has a direct link to the time I cherish the most that is my childhood.
Your poetry assumes that faith, love, and beauty exist. What are the benefits of writing from this perspective? What are the drawbacks?
These perspectives give a feeling of freshness in readers. Faith, Love and Beauty exist in all spheres of life and in each mundane thing. Where there is faith there is truth. Where there is truth there is love. Where there is love there is beauty and where there is beauty there is God and connecting to that supreme power hardly leaves any scope of drawbacks.
What new poetry projects are you currently working on?
Recently I have joined The Abandoned Towers magazine as poetry editor and I am also thinking of releasing a special edition of short forms (haikus, sonnets, limericks etc.) from The Enchanting Verses Literary Review. At the same time I am also half way in penning my eighth book of poems.
A blue lake captures my soul in its
unmeasured, unimaginable depths
where a new world better than lands
survive drinking immortality.
Howling wolves pierce melancholy
and the dropping leaves stuck with
fever of spring bows down
before the majestic stance
of endless sky and waters.
Echo of unknown sounds emerging
from the interstices of the woods
run wildly, circle around ears
like unquenched souls.
Striking against trunks topless trees
they become one with lingering serenity.
The bridge connecting them to my land
is left broken for years,
perhaps broken by the Gods
and none has dared to swim across
for both worlds gets bewildered
with the laws in either side of the bridge.
My Chained Faith
The far-flung whistle of the colliery
and of the Calcutta-mail
calls me every day after dinner.
The train’s shrill echo and
rhythmic melody of wheels
form a sublime image of
the girl out of my dreams,
waving and smiling;
screaming and crying;
standing and waiting
just for me amidst grasses,
trees and hedges that wave
in solitude and hope.
The curvature of the lopsided land
plays hide and seek along with
the clouds and moon blurring realism.
My belief is incurable and so is
the facade of pleasure that I show
while I follow compellingly,
the whistle of the colliery.
My faith lies in the train,
in the wilderness and
the vaporous figure of my love
while my whims are chained
with famine and society
that may identify me as a mad
once I leave my job and run
into the hazy backwoods.
Sweat tries to swim upwards through the hairs
of a labourer building the statue of the herald
but fails and falls in the soil sucked up by heat,
Vanishes as a struggling animal in quicksand;
Dreams drain and entity turns into fossils as slippers
walk over it.
His weapons are a chisel and spade;
He lifts them to protest but vacuum wailing in the curves
of his muscles make it fall again on the mummified ground;
just to dig, dig the ground for
the Herald's statue must stand firm
or his existence will be buried under its
Toils will evaporate with the smile of the moon
The dawn will hear sounds again-
sounds of iron striking against rocks.
The air waits to weave those sounds
and strike a twister with them-
Tall enough for the world to see
bold enough to step over mountains
Clear enough to show the waving hands
begging a day out of slavery.