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Happy National Poetry Month! It’s day 24 (and only six more days to go) and today’s interviewee is Janaki Nagaraj!:

What was the first poem you’ve ever read?
Frankly, all I can remember are the nursery rhymes. I did not develop an interest in poems until after college. However, the poem that stayed with me is The Pulley by George Herbert.

How has poetry influenced you as a person? Or as a writer?
It is the play of words, the metaphors, and the images that are weaved into the poems that draws me to a poem. It is the ability to say something or to put forth an idea in fewer words than prose.

I always am looking for putting forth my point by keeping it simple. Nothing flowery, elaborate or showing off my literary capabilities by writing something complex which the reader may find difficult to grasp.

In your opinion, what makes a poorly written poem?
Free verse has given a lot of scope for people to write poetry. There should be consistency in the idea and if there is a transition, it should be smooth. Even if you are speaking metaphorically, the reader should be able to grasp your idea and not struggle with it. To an extent, good grammar helps. If you are writing about a few different concepts in a poem, you should bring it to a suitable conclusion. There cannot be loose ends or ideas. Poetry lovers can read between lines yet, the idea should be complete.

How would you persuade a non-reader to read poetry?
Well, I cannot force anyone. All I can tell them is start by reading poetry, which are written in a language, which they understand best…it can be their mother tongue. Only when you think that you are able to understand, then an attempt can be made in reading poetry written in other languages you may know or their translations.

Is poetry useful?
It is like asking if reading is useful? Of course it is if you have an interest in it. To each his/her own. Reading poetry makes me improve my own writing of poems. I can only talk for myself.

Bio: Janaki Nagaraj is a homemaker, blogger, poet and a dreamer who dreams to travel the world one day. You can follow Janaki at her site:

30 Days of Poetry Love with Janaki Nagaraj

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