(Extract of an interview with Alicia Budhram, Georgetown, Guyana, August 2019.
Budhram is an environmentalist, vegan, poet and psychology student. Her first collection of poems, ‘Spontaneous Deluge’ was launched on Sunday, August 18, 2019, with elaborate décor and celebration matching the scope of the writing and appreciated by a large audience, an impressive number for a book launch.)
PP Poetry is a hard sell but despite this, in my line of interest/business, I am seeing a deluge of poetry and published books of poetry. Despite the hard sell, despite what we may hear about the death and the dearth of books, you have chosen to express yourself in this format. Very often, our first type of expression is in poetic form. Let’s hear why you have chosen to express yourself in poetic form instead of other genres of writing.
AB I don’t know if I have chosen poetry so I’d like to speak a bit on that…
PP Or poetry has chosen you…
AB Yes, it seems like poetry has chosen me because of how it happened: as I was heading to university [of Guyana] one day, I felt the urge to write, so as soon as I got to the parking lot, I pulled out a book and started writing. I didn’t know what I was actually writing, whether it was a book or not. I never looked at poetry except a few [poets] like Rumi, Allan Poe and a few English writers, not a whole lot and not in depth.
When I started writing, the first poem was about the lotus, and then about the rose; I am especially attached to those two flowers because of the way they are they speak a lot about our lives.
The third poem I wrote was ‘Identity Crisis’ because I was thinking of the way the human psyche is and how we have lost our identity – it didn’t come out in prose, it came out in poetic form. This was amazing for me and that’s why I named the book, ‘Spontaneous Deluge’, because I didn’t plan it, and I didn’t know where I was heading with this ‘stop and write’ routine. I know I love public speaking but I never expected in all my dreams that I would write poetry.
PP And all of this happened in the parking lot?
AB Most of it.
This is what happens – it comes to me especially while driving and I would have to stop and write there and then because it comes forth like in a deluge and if I say that I would write when I get where I’m going, I don’t remember it as it came to me; as it comes to me, I need to record it immediately; it has to be an immediate process or lose the trail of thought.
PP But you do revisit what you write?
AB I do because I need to tweak a few things but in the initial work, I try to write a complete poem, take a few days away, then revisit the piece.
PP You confessed just now that you haven’t read much poetry so I trying to get into your head as to whither cometh this burst. I see you are a psychology student and you like to get into people’s head, let’s get into your head and talk about this collection, ‘Spontaneous Deluge’.
AB I think one of the aspects that brought forth this work was meditation but not mere meditation and contemplation – I have been doing a study called ‘self mastery’ for the past two and a half years, it is the study of the self, how to dissolve the pain we experience during the journey of life – the healing process of pain, it [the writing] is a accumulation of things.
Let me share this: at the end of the month, I would receive an invoice with the following quote at the bottom [that goes like this]: when you do the work you love, you never have to work another day.
Every month I receive this quote and think on it for I use to work very hard with my mind, my body, all my faculties, and I was tired. Before two years ago, I use to work seventeen hours a day, seven days a week, I basically I had no life so when I started to do this course, I started thinking about my life, deeply, I thought I was happy doing what I do, I asked myself what is happiness, and as time when by, I ponder on this quote and then it awoke something inside me.
PP A deluge moment.
Take us through this book; I see you opened with the butterfly – the end and beginning – and closed by going home.
AB I really love the story of the butterfly – I’ve studies it. I’ve also looked at Deepak Chopra’s phenomenal study of the life cycle of the butterfly…so these are some of the things that brought forth this poetic expression.
PP And you have dabbled in numerous themes – love of and destruction of nature, domestic violence, self-exploration, love and lust, identity, personal space, among others.
Talk about person space.
AB Rarely do we realize that we are individuals; we say it that I am an individual, I am an unique being but rarely do we own it, by owe it, I mean knowing who we are…while respecting every other being.
We must feel it not just know it; knowledge is about knowing, feeling is about becoming. From this space, this self or this energy, I feel everything…that why I love nature and feel deeply about the destruction of nature, and the earth is everything. We are the earth – we are made of the five elements and we cannot survive without the elements. Yet we pillage the earth, we are literally killing the earth because of greed.
So I feel deeply about the subjects on which I have written.
PP It is stated here on the blurb that your ‘passion is see others understand who they are, find their place in the universe, realize their capacity and potential, and to tap into newfound transformational energy’. That’s a tall order, tell us how you intend to accomplish all of this….(to be continued)
Responses to this author telephone (592) 226-0065 or email: [email protected]