For Global Poetry Month, I have decided to feature poets from around the world that I know. These are talented individuals who impress me with their skills. They write incredible poetry and are beautiful human beings.
For this first weekend of April, I have chosen to interview Kurdish poet, Dlvan Zirak. Dlvan is twenty-six-years-old and has written three poetry books 5 A.M. Thoughts, its Kurdish translation, and Jar of Memories.
Dlvan writes about a variety of topics, but one, in particular, caught my attention. She talks about mental health, a topic which is still highly stigmatized. This poet wishes to eradicate the stigmatization of openly discussing mental illness and does this by addressing it in her poetry.
Dlvan, you write so honestly and so articulately about mental illness. Do you or anyone you know have a mental illness? If so, what kind of affect does that have on your writing?
I’m a hypersensitive person and I feel too much. Simple things can affect me more than they affect others. Since writing is my escape, I write what I feel and I make sure that my thoughts are expressed as I want to. So, for example, I face a difficult day at work, I write about it with heavy emotions because this way I feel better. Also, with everything that happened in 2020, I was so overwhelmed. I had never felt like this before, and this helped me see things from a different perspective. I try to show these in my writings.
I have found my upbringing colors a lot of my writing and the way I utilize metaphors and similes. How do you feel your childhood and/or culture impact your writing style?
Even as a kid, I dreamed about doing different things when I grew up. Living in the Middle East can be challenging. So from my writings and my books, I want to show the youth that it doesn’t matter where we live, we can dream big and work hard to make our dreams come true. I also want to show my readers that they are not alone when they are going through different emotions in life and to empower the next generation.
What do you find easiest to write about? What is the most challenging?
The easiest thing to write is about emotions. It comes to me so easily, whether it’s something that I feel, someone talks about their experiences, or the things that I notice around me. As for challenging, I think writing stories. Working on an idea, making up scenarios, making sure there aren’t plot holes.
Do you have an ideal space to write your poetry? If you could imagine the best place to write poetry, what would it look like?
I don’t plan to write my poems. They just come to me and I grab my phone before the idea runs away and I write it in my Notes app. The best place would be among trees and mountains. Where you can hear water and animals are far away and birds fly in different directions. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than nature and it makes me so relaxed.
Where can readers find more of your writing?
They can find me with the following links:
I will never be the same.
Even if I never get to feel
All the horrible things I feel now,
I will never be how I used to be.
I may become the happiest person
That has roamed this earth.
But at night, when the world is quiet,
When you can hear your own breath,
I’ll remember the faces I saw.
I will be able to identify their pain.
I will remember the hurt I was in.
And even though I will be happy then,
I know that not everyone else is.
And this, man, this will sting.
It will feel like a heartbreak in a circle.
Even when I don’t remember the hurt,
When no sadness is left in me,
I will know others suffer,
And there’s nothing I can do about it.
For this, I shall never find peace.