English Poetry | Invictus ’17

Invictus

by Aarushi Goel

Invictus Day 2

“Poetry is when emotion has found its thought and thought has found its words”- Robert Frost

Such beautiful and riveting words, thoughts and emotions were heard in the Biochemistry Lecture Halls on 27th Match at 11 am for the English Poetry event for VIBES, Invictus.

The topics were Eternal Youth and Missed Opportunity. The participants had one hour to write the poem, after which they had to submit a hard copy to the judges. They could give short introductions to their poems, but within the allotted time limit of three minutes. The esteemed judges for the event were Dr. Mary Matthew and Dr. Rohan Fernandes.

Eternal Youth seemed the more favoured topic with most candidates choosing to write about that. One poem talked about the idea of eternal youth being an abmirable fallacy. Another one had four stanzas describing four different aspects of the eternity of youth like why the poet chose to drink the elixir of youth, what came after that and the joys of life.

The participants for KMC Manipal were Sharon Narula, Niharika Dixith, Dr. Sambeet Patra, Sumona Kundu, Lakshay Rastogi, Reetobaan Datta and Annapoorna Chakrabarty.

In her own words, Sharon’s poem talked about youth. How short-lived yet such a crucial part of life this phase is, for everyone, how difficult to forget. People tend to live this phase of life to its eternity by having so much confidence, passion, vigour, all the mixed emotions and encompassing all hurdles no matter how difficult they might seem at the time. When asked how she felt about the topics, she said that while they were common, they were also important topics which everyone must actually have felt at some point of time in their lives.

An excerpt from her poem-
                                                  “The fountain of youth, The elixir of life
                                                    Enticing everyone with its single strike
                                                        Craved by all after it’s long gone
                                                So enjoy it while you are still at its dawn”

Niharika chose to write an open ended poem about a woman who went for a walk in the woods. There she came across a fountain, the fountain of eternal youth and unknowingly she drank from it. She was horrified when she looked at her reflection and saw that she looked her beautiful 17 year old self again and bid farewell to her daughter who would never recognize her again. She left it to the audience to decide if eternal youth was a gift or a curse.

“And all I could do was scream silently
Bidding farewell to life as I knew it
And farewell to the daughter who would recognize me no more.”

Dr. Sambeet wrote about eternal external youth, and how everyone has dreamt about it. And why not? Who wouldn’t want to be and look young forever? How good and convenient and charming it would be if eternal youth was a reality. However, at the end of his poem he came to the conclusion that the only truth of life was that there was no eternal youth. It did not exist and that was a fact we should all learn to come to terms with.

Sumona’s was an innovative poem on the topic Missed Opportunities. She chose to write from the perspective of a sniper, assigned the job of assassinating a wrongly chosen leader. The leader was described as an orange shark with blunt jaws, the feline he keeps describing with small hands and many controversial ties and statements. The sniper was chosen to be the Protector of the free world. The stage was all set, the equipment ready and the perfect moment arrived. However, at the point it started drizzling and the plan was horribly disrupted. The mission aborted, the sniper went home, dreading the consequences of the unfortunate rain, hoping it may not be disastrous and lead to a WW3. On her thoughts about the topics, she felt that they were relevant and the participants were free to wield it the way they wanted.

“The crowd cheered in unison, little plastic flags waving
He walked towards the stage, orange hair, long-red tie, attention craving
I fixed my gaze, adjusted the lens, held my breath and the moment was now.
And just then, it started drizzling, everyone scrambled for cover.”

 

Lakshay’s poem was entitled “An Ode to Missed Calls’ which was a funny and light hearted poem on the topic Missed Opportunities. He wrote about how he had a missed call and he almost missed the opportunity of participating in this event. Everybody has different types of missed calls and how missed calls can channel your life in a completely different direction. Then he went on to talk about his idea of poetry and how it was a subtle way to capture imperfections and make things look good in your imagination. He told us how this event came as a surprise to him since he wasn’t planning on participating in the first place and after he saw the topic missed opportunities, he just tried pen it all down. Regarding the topics, he felt that there were always incidents that everyone could relate to which were relevant to the topic. Like, everybody misses calls, that’s very normal. So he decided to pen everything in a genial and upbeat manner.

“A piece of poetry that I write is my summon of all imaginary things I can never fulfil
A poem on a straight road is the diversion that separates traffic
A poem is like a blackboard you don’t have the chalk to write with.”

Reetobaan decided to write a poem each on both the topics. The one on Eternal Youth was about a father who was struggling to cope with the realities of a peaceful time as he was so overtaken by the times he spent at war. And in essence stuck in the past. He wrote that as he had a Janis Joplin song, Piece of my heart, running in his head and when he saw the topic, he had a certain urge to piece a poem around it.

The one on Missed Opportunities was about dreams that everyone once had, if they were still alive by youthful enthusiasm or crushed away by reality. He said that he wrote it from recent personal experience. “I feel like I haven’t utilized my opportunities to the fullest, be it here in Manipal or during school. I have gotten carried away with the general sense of things. If you want to achieve something, the biggest requirement is to go out of your comfort zone. I feel like if you remain comfortable in your present space, it’s easy yet inefficient since you’re not actually doing anything about yourself. You need to go that mile. Burn the midnight oil.”

Regarding the topics, he said he used them as prompts and felt that they were good prompts to write on after a while.

“Do it again, would you?
Knit the sparkling fabric
Like you always used to,
One dream at a time?”

Annapoorna wrote a hauntingly beautiful poem about depression and self harm, showcasing the realities that a person goes through and the thoughts that go on in their mind. How the scars could be hidden away by making excuses to the world. Taking about feeling like a metaphorical ghost, existing in fractions. Scars, blood, the feeling, wanting and hoping to be strong but failing each time. She said that she wanted to focus her poem on how hopelessness can actually stretch time into eternity.    

All the poems for the day were immensely well-written and portrayed the wit and deep thought, introspection and the beautiful and engaging points of view of all the contenders.

          1st place- Slot 3: FMMC, Mangalore
          2nd place- Slot 9: KMC,Manipal
          3rd place- Slot 1: KMC, Manipal  

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