Articles /Interviews

Canadian Poet Aurora Antonovic

by Dr. Amitabh Mitra Bookmark and Share

A Dialogue:
Love poetry, Writing Poems in French and English,
Visual Interpretations and Haiga

1. Aurora, you are one of the most extensively published poets, you write in French and English, Tell us about your early years in Canada and how they influenced your writing of such beautiful poetry.

I grew up in a home where good literature was plentiful. My father bought me a book a week from the time I was three years old until the time of his death when I was eight. He even left behind an entire collection of the classics for me. Here in Canada, we begin to learn to read and write in kindergarten, and back when I went to school, it was pretty much the norm to know how to read by grade one. Canadian schools teach poetry and the arts generously, and we learn at least one Shakespearean play a year beginning in high school, so I was exposed to a lot of great literature early on.

2. French influence is a global entity, there is a major part of Africa which has embraced French culture and produces beautiful poetry in the French Language. How does contemporary Canadian Poetry in the French Language differ from the French Poetry in France?

Canadian French is not as “pure”, if I can use that word, as the French of France. However, French poetry thrives in Canada, as well as English poetry. I like to write in French because I find it takes my mind on a different journey than merely writing in English alone. No two languages ever say exactly the same thing in the same manner, and certain poems, to me, speak better in the French language than say the English.

3. The best of Love Poetry comes from France, Ghazals in Urdu and of course from your pen. It’s a feeling that encompasses and unites every being to each other. Professional love poets are writing poetry because it is the only creative effort that can sell, publishers would accept love poetry but not about Tsunami or 9/11, what is your opinion on writing only love poetry?

I don’t write love poetry solely, nor does love poetry seem particularly popular in North America right now. In fact, it is extremely rare for a poet to make a living off of poetry alone, and most of us have to have other types of jobs in order to support our passion for verse.

Now while I don’t only write love poetry, I do tend to write a lot of it, because poets write about what we know. Love poems are one of the highest forms of verse, and since love is such a universal desire and experience, love poetry is very natural to write.

4. Visual interpretation of a poem is enticing. Please tell us about Haiga. Have you thought of making a film on your poetry? Tell us about experimenting with all forms and poetry.

Haiga is a form of Japanese poetry that incorporates image with haiku or tanka. I am also a visual artist, so blending art with poetry is very natural and enjoyable for me. I find that a painting I am working on will influence a poem, and poetry will inspire me to paint.

I have never thought of making a film about poetry, but I think the prospect is an interesting one.

I enjoy every form of poetry, from sonnets, to free verse, to the aforementioned Japanese forms. In fact, I cannot think of a type of poetry that isn’t appealing.

5. Love poetry in web based publication and its publication in beautiful print books, which one do you favor, how can we enrich love poetry in print publications, so that a gift of such a book becomes a possession for ever?

I have mixed feelings about internet publishing. On the one hand, I enjoy the speed and international flair of the internet, while on the other I like to have a book of verse that I can hold in my hands and take out time and time again to enjoy.

I believe that poetry could become popular again if it were taught more extensively in schools, if an appreciation of the arts were fostered, and if children were encouraged to become poets.

Illustrations and great visuals are the key to the appeal of any book, be it love poetry, or books on any topic. Sometimes people, in today’s hurried society, don’t want to take the time to devour a book unless there are lots of eye-catching pictures to make one stop and take a look at what else lies in that book. I have begun blogging, and have noticed that when I intersperse my blog with images, people are more likely to stop and read a poem. So, too, is it with poetry books.

6. The Love poetry of Aurora Antonovic, How do we see it ten years from now?

I currently have over two thousand poems in publication. I would like to see many more thousands of poems in print in ten years’ time, including some collections of verse. And I hope I will always write love poetry.     

Poetry by Aurora Antonovic  

More by : Dr. Amitabh Mitra
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