The great poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota is my all time favourite and his famous short epic Muna Madan is the most enjoyable one for me. Muna Madan is a tragic romance in verse form about a husband who sets off as a trader for Lhasa leaving behind his beloved wife and mother. It represents a relatively early and naive work in the career of Nepal’s most famous and prolific 20th Century writer.

However, for all its simplicity in narrative and structure, Devkota managed to capture something in the essence of Muna Madan which can arguably never be replicated. At the same time, it forges a new Nepali literary identity based on simple homely values, love and inclusiveness. In this way the poem manages to look both at the past and at the future, remaining fresh and timeless for readers.

— Bidyaaz, Kathmandu

My favourite poet is Rabindranath Tagore. Let me quote one of his innumerable poems which provides me maximum inspiration and enjoyment:

If they answer not to thy call

walk alone,

If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,

O thou of evil luck,

Open thy mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away and desert you when crossing the wilderness,

O thou of evil luck,

Trample the thorns thy tread

And along the blood-lined track

travel alone.

If they do not hold up the light

When the night is troubled

with storm,

O thou of evil luck,

With the thunder flame of pain ignite thine own heart

And let it burn alone

In this age, it is often witnessed that the individuals who dare to swim opposite the mainstream, are taunted and ridiculed by all and sundry. But this poem acts as a source of inspiration for me to act and think independently, without worrying over adverse opinions and consequences.

— Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkata, India

Among all the poets in Nepal, I like Mahakabi Laxmi Prasad Devkota the most because he is the most successful and famous poet as well as litterateur in Nepali literature. I love the way he created literary works including essays, stories and poems. He used to create poems by heart because he was a natural poet. Among all his poetry collections, I love Yatri the most because it’s about a journey of a person. Devkota has tried to focus on the conditions of an individual when he starts from his point of origin to the point of destination. A song related to this poem Kun Mandir Ma Janchhau Yatri has been composed and sung and it really touches my heart. So I won’t be mistaken even if I say that the favourite poet of my entire life is none other than Devkota for the fact that he was the one who revolutionised the Nepali poetry with his excellent creation.

— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar

My favourite poet is Mahakabi Laxmi Prasad Devkota and the poem is Paagal. The way this poem has illustrated about the insanity and has brought up the experience and thoughts of a person who is quite different from society, is something that amazes me.

The lines where he explains that when we see rose just like a rose, the character in poem sees more than just a rose. He had to go to Ranchi because people called him a paagal (mad man) but he isn’t. These differences expressed in the poem justify the truth of society — how we treat people who are different from us, making it one of my all time favourite poems.

— Swarup Raj Dhungana, Chabahil, Kathmandu

I am immensely impressed by my favourite Ayamelikabi Bairagi Kaila and his poem Parbat (Mountain) is the most enjoyable poem for me. Poet should be the one who can play humanity’s reed with the ink and inspire the audience for progression even in the midst of dire adversities. Kaila’s poem Parbat is an example of such artistry. It inspires us deep down to strive for existential efforts with a call to break all absurdities of life and its journey.

In the poem Parbat, the persona always finds himself climbing the mountains in his dream. Many tragic incidents occur throughout his climb. Backbones of the Himalayas break and collapse. Many lives are crushed in the separate compartments of trains. The streets get exhausted having taken many to their destinations. Faith lose its way. However, the persona never loses his hopes to reach the top of mountains. He gathers all these shattered foundations of life and carries these fragments in his pockets and on his shoulders and keeps climbing. He protects the faith of existence from  all obstacles of journey though he loses his two eyes, a heel, and two hands. Nonetheless, he sees from his third eye and every time he locates an opening to begin a new journey from there.

— Som Nath Ghimire, Kawasoti-5, Nawalparasi

Women are always phenomenal and who wouldn’t love to read about phenomenally phenomenal women? Yes, Phenomenal Women by Maya Angelou is my favourite poem. It is a celebration of womanhood — a song of happiness and pride. It’s been an anthem to my joy whenever I feel down because every word flies like a colourful confetti of encouragement around me and tells me that it’s okay not to be perfect. It tells me that there need not be any falsity in appearance of our body and that our glistening smile is all needed to grab any attention. Moreover, it hasn’t victimised women but glorified them, maybe that’s the main reason I love the poem so much.

— Reeti Sharma, Gaurighat

Poems, there are galore. Picking one out of them is no less a Herculean job than trying to search for a pearl earring in the Sahara desert. However, entrusted with the tricky job we have to oblige you.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth has always been my favourite since school days. Spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling is the incentive that has made me a votary of this poet. There is no human and commonplace mundane banality in it, so I love it. The sheer freshness of Mother Nature abounds in it, like I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats in high o´er hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils

— Gopal Shrestha, Parijat Path, Hetauda

Every person in this world finds a unique gem in a poet who s/he starts liking for rest of his life. Similarly, in my case I’m impressed with a British poet, William Henry Davies. The thing which I like in his poems is his unique theme about life’s hardships in which the humans’ actual condition is reflected in nature.

The poem Leisure from his pen is a poem which clarifies his unique theme. Through this poem, he has expressed his discontent about our life which is full of worries. We have no free time to enjoy the beautiful nature around us because we are overburdened with loads of such works which give us only harassment in return. He expresses his disagreement with humans because we have no time to admire nature for what it has given to us without demanding a single penny in return. The world of nature is magnificent but we hardly manage time to praise it. I especially got fascinated with his conclusion where he tries to aware humans about their worthless and poor life because they have no time to come out of their artificial world and stare at the nature or at the magnificent creatures.

— Bishal Sah, Birgunj

Poetry is the collection of lines which describes enormous facts and it has power of thousand words. Like everyone, I also have interest in some type of poetry. Reality based poems draw my attention. For Nepali language, poems of Mahakabi Laxmi Prasad Devkota are the ones that attract me, as he really focuses on the weak points of society. As for English, I like Willim Shakespeare both as a poet and a writer. I find it interesting and it’s fun too, to try understanding his typical language and his way of writing.

— Aayush Adhikari, Kirtipur, Kathmandu

Rashtrakabi Madhav Prasad Ghimire is the poet that I adore the most. With the mixture of nationalism, romanticism and modernism in his writing, he always tries to favour existence of life and he keeps life in supreme importance. He tries to show the positive aspects of living. This feeling of the poet can be seen in his poem Dharti Mata where he tries to show that a person should make their short life worth living, by doing something good for the nation or for humanity. He advises a person to live in such a way that we have no room for regrets later on that’s why I love his poem the most.

While most other poets try to justify why life is a mistake, Ghimire tries to show why life should be enjoyed rather than regretted and he also teaches us about being grateful to have a life. He always pleads us to work for the place where we were born.

— Rishika Rawal, Bhaktapur

We know that the way of writing poem is very different than the paragraph. There should be flow in the words of the poem. Every single poem may not be liked by all. People have their own choice of poems that they enjoy the most. My favourite poet is Mahakabi Laxmi Prasad Devkota.

— Anonymous

I have an interest in poems. It’s like doing a Sunday crossword and then getting a bit of an intellectual high and maybe even an emotional one that isn’t so easy to put into words. At times it can be brain hurting but sooner you relate to it, it’s deeply enriching and rewarding.

Personally my favourite poet is Robert Frost by a long shot which may seem a cliché. But I have my own reasons for that. Out of his profuse amount of major works, I love The Road Not Taken.

As far as I know, this poem has got to be among the best-known, most-often-misunderstood poems on the planet. The poem is not about one option being better. In fact, there could be a tinge of regret by the author that he took the wrong one. The poem is more about choices, not about a right choice and a wrong choice. Life is full of choices and they make a difference, but they are not necessarily better than other choices. I cringe everytime I happen to read this particular stanza:

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

— Anonymous

Phenomenal Women is my favourite poem written by Maya Angelou. Angelou was a famous American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. Among all she was the most inspiring woman. In her poem Phenomenal Women, we can find the true meaning of beauty and charisma within women. It evokes an idea that all women are beautiful. They do not need to look pretty and picture perfect by shaping themselves in zero size or restructuring their facial structures. It is behind their skin-deep beauty which has million sparks inside their heart, possessing sharing and caring vibes, the nurturing ability, the spirit and broad thinking that ultimately shine outside. External beauty is often judged by everyone but internal one cannot be measured which is beyond measurement criteria. The internal beauty of women is seen just in truth of her eyes and smile that comes from the essence of a beautiful heart which captivates men besides their sexiness. Therefore, women are considered just phenomenal women.

— Prativa Neupane, Gatthaghar, Bhaktapur

I am really not that good judge of poem as all poems are good and I think they shouldn’t be judged over how they are written. I love all the poets but basically I enjoy old retros like that of Eleanor Farejon. Reading poems and understanding them is what one should do, not judge them that they are enjoyable or not.

— Anonymous

I am inclined towards the poetry because of Mahakabi Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Buddhisagar and most importantly Sylvia Plath. The poems by Plath are something extra ordinary. I just love the way she uses metaphors in her poems. She brings out her demons every time, and tries to slain it. She talks about feminism in her poems. I see the pain, agitation and the violence in her life. We can figure her several attempts of death in most of the poems.

The most interesting poems are A Birthday Present, Lady Lazarus and Mirror. Among these poems, I like Mirror. This poem talks about the figure of a woman that is reflected by a mirror. She is trying to deal with different things like her true self that can be seen in the mirror. She is lamenting here for her indecisiveness regarding her girlhood and womanhood. And the part which I think lovely is:

I am important to her. She comes and goes.

Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.

In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an

old woman.

But due to her addiction towards death has limited the good numbers poems.

She says those in her another poem called Lady Lazrus and it goes like this :

Dying Is an art , like

everything else.

I do it exceptionally well.

Some may find her poems

irritating, but I love the way she draws the details. It’s weird but her works , somehow, are

encouraging and fetches me up, deep and down at the

same time.

— Sailena Thapa, Koteshwor

Every person has his/her own way of interpreting poem but I feel them, a poem is a way to express the hidden feelings being able to motivate any eye which is read mentally and spiritually. A poem could be in any verse or sonnet. Yet it depends upon the beholder who is there to fathom the magic in their own way.

For me one of the best poems is Much Madness Is Divinest Sense by Emily Dickinson. The poem describes about the madness in a human. And it also advises to stay calm and silent with the madness.

Songs are the poems, the mumbles are the poems. Every word written on a paper with emotional flow is a poem.

— Anonymous

We all are choosy. We all have our own preferences and tastes. We are the judge of our own. And the judgement varies from person to person. This applies for everything and, poetry is no exception. There is no squabble in the fact that every poem may not be liked by all. A poem that can melt one’s heart with ease may mean nothing to the other. It all depends in our predilection. I enjoy the love poems than the other ones.

Of all the poets I have known so far, Robert Burns has always been the one to inspire me to pick up the pen and contemplate on the magical words. His way of writing and expressing his feelings into words can enchant any heart. He never fails to transform his love into rhymes.

In a nutshell, poetry is an art. Every word carries a deep meaning within. It cannot only bestow us with euphoric sensation, but also deliver a relevant message. So, let your souls drown in the ocean of poetry. And, trust me, you’ll breathe even better!

— Nabin Pradhan

I am not much into poems and I do not have any favourite poet as such. But there are a few poems that still ring in my ear from my early childhood and teenage days. Lekh Nath Poudyal’s Pinjada Ko Suga is my all time favourite in Nepali poem followed by Mahakabi Laxmi Prasad Devkota’s Yatri. In fact, Pinjada Ko Suga is a notch higher than Yatri on my liking list, probably because I started reciting this poem during my elementary school days. In those days I would sing it aloud all the time hoping to let the parrot out of the cage — obviously I was too young to understand its latent meaning. Among the English poems, I could never forget W H Davis’s Leisure, which really inspired me to be carefree and love the nature. Then there is Rudyard Kipling’s If — a classic poem that helps me hold on to my dignity, grace, strength amidst the human pettiness, lies and intrigues. Despite its inherent weaknesses, I love my poem The Dancer about an artist who earns a living by performing Newari classical dances in restaurants. I, however, make no claim to be a poet.

— J Talchabhadell, Bhaktapur

People do have different interests and that works in poetry too. I love reading poems of nature. Poems written over the nature are interesting. Those poems depict the fact that nature is the only ultimate source of pleasure of human.

Regarding the poet, I like late Siddhicharan Shrestha who is known as Yugkabi in the Nepali literature. His creations are fantastic and lovable. Love towards nature is his main feature in his poetry. His poems are so simple to read. Mero Pyaro Okhaldhunga is his best poem. Written in the memory of his beloved place, he has described the natural beauty there. The hills, rivers, natural scenario are very elegant part of the poem. His creations are immortal.

— Anonymous

I pray

To one who has no language

But understands every language

To one who has no color

But painted all the flowers

I love

One song which is unsung

But is the tune of every leaves

I am thankful

To one whom I have not met

But is within me

Every moment, every time, everywhere

This is one of my favourite poems, written by my friend Awas Ghm. I am a spiritual guy. I love poem which holds the divine romance. So, I liked to mention the poem. And, I love the song which is unsung.

— Saman, Kathmandu

Yes, it’s true that every poem may not be liked by all. All the people have their own choices. My kind of favourite are the romantic ones because I myself write those sort of poems. Trust me, I’m not lying. There are only few people who know that I write poems. But unfortunately, I haven’t been able to publish even a single poem till now. I couldn’t trust

any medium through which I could show my talent to the world. I have written a number of romantic/sentimental poems.

I have one problem — I don’t know the names of worldwide romantic poets as I started writing on my own. I just got the names of William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and a few others who are known worldwide as romantic poets. I haven’t even read their poems. It’s because I want to establish my own name in this kind of poetry. I want to create my own identity. I just want a trustful medium by which I can start publishing my poems. That’s all.

— Aawesh Karn

Though I am not an avid lover of poems, I do indulge in the world of poems time and again. To me, works of William Worthsworth are very heart-touching while Rabindranath Tagore’s articles strengthen my spirit. One of my favourite poems comes not from a poet, but from a scientist and a past president of India, APJ Abdul Kalam. In his autobiography, he has written,

God has not promised, skies always blue,

Flower-strewn pathways, all our life through;

God has not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God has promised, strength for the day, rest for the labour, and light for the way.

These lines always work wonders in times of my lowest ebb.

— Sandeep Tuladhar, Maitidevi

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Film is an artistic field. Many young Nepali filmmakers and producers are pursuing its creative avenue and many more show interest. Do you think the newbies need to have

experience before they direct or produce a film independently? Will this control the quality of Nepali films? Illustrate.

Send your replies in not more than 200 words by Friday, July 17 by 2 :00 pm to Features, The Himalayan Times, e-mail: features@thehimalayantimes.com