For Tialila Kikon, poetry has always been her first love. Based in Dimapur, Nagaland, she is a lecturer by profession. ‘And a misty-eyed poet by passion,’ she adds. After graduating from St Joseph’s College, Jakhama, Tialila did her post graduation in English literature at NEHU Shillong. Presently, she teaches literature at Peren Government College. Her first book of poems titled Paper Cranes was published last October by Cyberwit Publishers, Allahabad.
Tialila feels very strongly about the power of poetry. ‘To touch and be touched soulfully is imperative to a harmonious state of being and to me, poetry is the best medium to achieve this wholeness. It gives a feeling that within each of us is a heart that beats the same. I believe the world can be a better place if human beings understood and respected each other’s feelings. Poetry brings out that emotion through beautiful words that comforts and heals the broken and the faithless. Poetry is also a vehicle to drive away pent-up anger and frustration which would otherwise harden the human in us.’
There are many writers and poets who tend to run out of ideas but she feels that if you keep your eyes and ears open, you will always find something interesting to write about. ‘I find inspiration everywhere, from the sun to the moon, from the sky to the sea, from the valleys to the mountains, colours, seasons etc. and of course the pain of innocent children touches me. Even an ignored weed inspires me. The universe is full of voices, we just have to keep our mind’s eye open and listen to the solitude.’
Of course, like Tialila, there are many talented poets in the region but there are not many who appreciate this form of art. ‘Sadly, poetry is a glamourless art, a poor man’s tool of expression and people at times give it step-motherly treatment. I wish there were more people in love with poetry because I believe it is an intellectual art as well as a spiritual one which calms the mind, comforts the heart and heals the soul. Perhaps with more healed souls, the world would experience less hatred and divide.’
The title of her book, Paper Cranes, was inspired by Sadako Sasaki and her paper cranes which is the universal symbol of peace, hope and recovery. The poems talk about the pain of divide, war, greed, intolerance, conflict, and fear etc. especially the suffering faced by innocent children and the less privileged in the world. The poems are not all grim, they also give hope that human beings can still find peace with a little acceptance. The book has been selected to be shelved at the Library of Congress, Washington DC which is the official research library of the United States Congress.
If you want to read some of her poems then you should check out her Instagram page (@soulscape73) where she shares short poems and expressions. ‘It is a sweet escape from daily life and a good place to be connected with instapoets from all over the world. To me, it is a great platform for my micropoetry. To find people who share the same love and interest is quite satisfying for the soul.’
She is currently working on her second book of poems which she intends to name ‘Dandelion Dreams’.
Get the book
By Meeta Borah