Poetry in motion

Poetry to Karthika Nair is the truest form of expression, waiting to be explored. Bearings her debut collection of evocative poems was launched in the City recently.

In conversation with Prof Mukunda Rao, Karthika shared her tryst with poetry and her love for words. “Bearings began as the only tangible signs of an attempt to stay connected to a language that felt most intimately my own, and yet did not figure in my landscape any more,” said Karthika. Through its three sections, Virga, Damaged Goods and Terra Infirma, Karthika meditates on the intertwined themes of directions, moorings and disclosures, with the multiple meanings and connections inherent in the title itself. “Bereavement and absences, the loss of memory and love, and concerns about home and identity find eloquent expression in my book,” she observes.

In Terra Infirma, she expounds on the question of identity, alternating between home and moving away from home. Damaged Goods is a catalogue of certain events in one’s life such as illness, death and endless visits to hospitals and what effect it leaves on one’s psyche. Karthika says of the three sections, she hopes to focus on Terra Infirma a bit more.

   Commenting on the use of language in poetry, Karthika equates words to blank pages that are waiting to be shaped and explored. Poetry, she says offers freedom and boundless opportunities to experiment with language. “Freedom is necessary for language to evolve, grow or even devolve,” she explained.

Karthika Nair, was born in Kerala and has travelled extensively through India during her childhood. She moved to France in 2000 to pursue a master's degree in art management, and stayed on in Paris to pursue work.

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