q&a: Sabitha TP

Poetry Potion | December 21st, 2013 | current issue, Q&A | No Comments

Or, it can also be written that poetry,
that moody bedraggled somnambulist
misses often the gritty gist
of itemised lists and the wist-
fulness of unread catalogues
and the beauty of paper-clips
as she, the crabby insomniac
walks out on your page for a brazen
nightly stroll, leaving you not
even a cigarette to puff out your rage.

from Poems to Father

At first, Sabitha TP is a passionate, vibrant person especially when talking about the politics that matter to her. I really could’ve chatted with her all day about poetry, politics and where she’s from Kerala, a state in the south west region of India had there been no schedule.

Before meeting Sabitha, I didn’t know about her work or her background. It is this background rich with culture politics and activism that has shaped her into an inspired and inspiring poet. Talking to her is a lesson in culture, in politics in finding ones passion and pursuing it to the best of ones ability.

Sabitha and I chatted while she was in Durban for the 17th Poetry Africa.

Poetry Potion: You write in both Malayalam and English. Is it always a conscious choice which language you will write in?
Sabitha TP: I think the poems choose their own language. For example, when I’m using certain folk illusions from Kerala or the collective memory of the people of Kerala or when I need to use dialect, in those cases, those poems come to me in Malayalam. I used to write a lot more in Malayalam than I do now. I still publish poems in Malayalam.

I have a poem for Michael Jackson…

read the rest of this article in print quarterly number four The Language Issue

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