Top 10 Poetic Serenades from Pema Choezom
At a time when getting glued on viral videos seems to define ‘time well-spent’, Pema Choezom – a self-proclaimed romantic is basking in her love for literature, words, poetry and libraries. “I love blue windows and cobbled streets too.” She adds. She’s one of the few young writers in Bhutan whose poetic opus has managed to create quite the following online – her ‘fashionista’ posts help too. But it’s mostly her simple orchestration of words that have indeed serenaded us, as we skim through her posts.
“I’ve always loved poetry. I love reading them, deciphering them and I love how they can stimulate feelings and emotions you’re not familiar with sometimes. However, writing poetry came much later. This was a whole different ball game. I loved reading them but I wasn’t sure if I was going to be any good at writing one myself. ‘Love’ is the easiest thing to write about when you are young- when you’re experiencing new things. And ‘Heartbreaks’, I think is what will make a poet out of someone.”
Pema says it wasn’t so much a person but an emotion that got her started writing poetry. “It was a deep sense of hopelessness, of pain and despair. Most of my earlier poems are very personal because I was writing them out of experience, from what I was going through at the time. And I think I projected all my emotions onto nature and seasons in my book ‘Love Perennial and Otherwise’, which I published online in 2014. Today, I write about everything. Observation is a huge source of inspiration for me. I mean, I don’t stalk people like a crazy person or wait for something bad to happen. I think I just happen to fixate on certain things, certain experiences which strike a chord with me. I hope that I will always be able to channel these experiences into my writing.”
“Poetry is beautiful. Poetry is therapy. It is a way of communicating. It is an art form. Poetry to me is an outlet to express your ideas or experiences to others as you wish you could express yourself every time you spoke- to transfer emotion from poet to paper to reader. As I wrote, I discovered poetry was more of an instant release, a form of self therapy, healing and hope.”
But for many, poetry can be intimidating, confusing and sometimes overwhelming but most of all, Pema says, it should not be any sort of obligation. “Many think that poetry is pretension fancifully dancing around what you actually want to say. They ask why you would want to coat your feelings in endless layers of imagery and wordplay when you could use that same amount of eloquence to explain them.
Of course, poetry is not about hiding feelings, but using the poetic techniques to express your views more powerfully. The art of poetry is to give your words additional impact, or in my case, achieve aesthetic satisfaction as well. When people say that they don’t “get it”, what they generally mean is that they’ve found a lot of the poetry they’ve encountered hard to understand. This may well relate back to their English class experiences, where students are generally taught to break down and analyze a poem, rather than just enjoy it. They assume all poetry has hidden layers which need to be ‘de-coded,’ and that poems are designed to be a challenge. If you want people to enjoy poetry, you might want to keep a straightforward, what-you-see-is-what-you-get poem on hand, so you can easily bust this myth when you hear it.”
You can follow Pema Choezom on instagram @b.u.m.o