Seeing poetry in other languages really excites me. I only speak English with a smattering of German, Spanish and Sinhala (which I cannot read, yet!) so I can't understand the letters I am reading. Nevertheless, my eyes drink in the beauty of those different words while my mind wonders if shaping them on my tongue and sending them out to catch a breeze will change the way I think or see the world.
I love the shape of languages that don't use the Roman alphabet that I grew up with. Those upright and proper letters shaped my body around the page and the act of recreating it with my hand. Unlike the Sinhala script of my father's first language which is all curves and swoops. It bends into the page as if it were still the palm leaves that were originally used to write upon.
Given my fascination with languages other than English, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered the Indian journal, hākārā, which publishes poems in both Marathi and English. It's a bilingual online journal of creative expression. As well as a peer reviewed journal that encourages the 'innovative nature of literary and visual images, critical artistic practices and developments that inform the contemporariness of the medium.'
When I saw that they had an open call on the theme of repetition, I set to work to write some new poems. I've come a long way in the years since I first attempted to write a poem in response to a journal's theme. Now I know to come at it sideways. To peer at it through blurry lenses. To flip it upside down or turn it inside out.
It's hard to describe or explain the process in more detail but I must have done something right because they liked what they saw! You can now read my two poems, $7.86 and Iteration (October 2022) over on the hākārā website.