Showbiz folks recall fave poems

Showbiz folks recall fave poems

From evoking emotions to reflecting on life, poetry plays a big role for members of the entertainment industry. Today is Poetry Day

World Poetry Day on March 21, recognises “the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind”, and is a celebration marked by Unesco.

Metrolife asked a few well-known names in showbiz about their favourite lines.

One condition was that they had to quote lines they remembered, and not look them up. Here is what Bengaluru’s arts people said about poems and poets that move them.

‘State anthem mentions traditions and customs’

Playback singer Ananya Bhat, loves composing tunes for poetry. Her favourite poem to this day is the state anthem ‘Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate’, because Kuvempu, the poet, mentions the best of the state’s traditions in it.

“The poet mentions all our time-honoured poets and what they have left as a legacy to us,” she says.

Favourite lines: “Sarvajanaangada shantiya tota, Rasikara kangala seleyuva nota! Hindu kraista musalmaana, Paarasika jainarudyaana.”

(In translation: ‘A garden of all faiths/A sight for rasikas./A land of Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Parsis...’)

‘Poetry is a part of me’

Film director, documentary maker and theatre person K M Chaitanya loves the poem ‘Ello hudukide’, by his grandfather and renowned poet G S Shivarudrappa.

He says, “Even in testing times like today, everyone is blinded by religion and dogmas. People are still not able to realise that, what was written by my grandfather two generations ago, still stands true. It’s in times like these, when we realise that humans are one and that real gods should be among people around us.”  

Chaitanya’s family has deep roots in literature and he has worked with Girish Karnad. “I’ve been surrounded by poetry and it is a part of me. 

Favourite lines: “Ello hudukide illada devara, Kallu mannugala gudiyolage, Ille iruva Preethi snehagala’, Guruthisalaadeno nammolage.”

(In English, ‘I searched for a god that doesn’t exist/In temples built from stone and mud/I failed to see the love and affection/among people right around me.)

‘Rumi’s lines inspire me’

Actress Sonu Gowda is a fan of poetry and loves digging into books with works by Rumi.

She says, “I like short poems. I like writing and these works inspire me to write and give me hope, smile, calmness during the toughest times.” Sonu who loves reading all forms of literature, says such poems help her “grown in the creative world.”

Favourite lines: “I said-pain and sorrow, He said-stay with it, The wound is the place where light enters you...”

‘“Nade Mundhe’ is about moving ahead’

Grammy award-winning composer and music producer Ricky Kej loves reading Kannada poetry.

His favourite poem is ‘Nade mundhe’ by Kuvempu and he feels that it “is about moving ahead and reaching your goals, against all odds.”

Ricky adds, “It is a strong, motivational poem, and even the syllables used are easy to flow, and has become an anthem of sorts for me.”

Favourite lines: “Nade mundhe, Nadhe mundhe, Nuggi nade mundhe, Jaggadeye kuggadeye, Higgi nade mundhe.”
(In English, meaning ‘March on, march on, keep marching on. Don’t stumble, don’t give up, keep marching on. )

‘Poetry goes to unknown depths’

For Kannada playback and sugama sangeeta singer M D Pallavi, poetry is one of the shortest formats that has the potential to contain profundity.

She says, “It allows the mind to imagine, go to unknown depths and understand metaphors. My favourite poem is ‘Akka kelavva’ by Akka Mahadevi. It is deceptively simple work, which is extremely difficult to attain in poetry. It talks about finding the one, in the most unexpectedly ordinary situations in life.”

Favourite lines: “Akka kelavva nanonda kanasa kande, Chikka chikka jedegala sulipalla goravana, Bhikshake banduda kandenavva, Mikku meeri hohana bembatti kaihididenavva, Chennamallikarjunana kandu kanteredenavva.”
(In English, meaning ‘Oh sister, I had a dream. The ‘gorava’ with plaited hair and sparkling white teeth came for alms. I followed him and held his hand, the hand of the unattainable. It was Chennamallikarjuna, and then I opened my eyes.)

‘I love Pablo Neruda’s works’

Actor Samyukta Hornad had a book full of poems written down, while she was learning calligraphy.

She says, “Most of the poems are by Pablo Neruda. I am a romantic at heart and love his writing. I find love in everything and anything; I find beauty in things that make me weep... unrequited love or loss of a loved one. Of Pablo Neruda’s 100 sonnets on love, Sonnet 17 is my favourite.”

Samyukta reads poetry in English, Hindi, Kannada, and writers like Kahlil Gibran, Rumi, and Walt Whitman.

Favourite lines: “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”

(As told to Tini Sara Anien)

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