Featured Poet Kinga Bryzek Interviewed.
Tell us about your poems.
Hm, this is the question I answered as the last one! I never talked much about my poems, I was just writing them, putting my thoughts in some creative ’shape’ as I call it, on the paper. Two days ago I actually got a message from some girl asking me about the meaning of one of my poems. It felt so weird because I never really talk much about it. But sure, I answered her and explained:
I write because it’s a part of me. That’s probably also how I deal with my different sorts of emotions sometimes.
Somehow I feel I have to do this, it’s just some voice inside, the hunger for creation. It helps you deal with things in life, too.
Years ago I used to write at all times, even at night, and I honestly couldn’t fall asleep until I had written this down. I don’t really do this anymore, have more control over it. But sometimes when I write, I write for days and days.
It comes to you in phases sometimes, and then you write until you feel it’s enough — weird but true. You let it all out, more or less.
How long have you been writing?
Since I was 13/14. I was writing a lot of songs starting around that time also as I used to sing and I loved it!
Do you have any publications to your name? What’s the next stage for your work?
No. I was ‘offered’ to publish my poems once when I lived in Germany but I didn’t sign the contract as it involved a lot of money (what happens when your a new writer and it’s a bit risky for the publisher to provide everything by himself) as also I wasn’t very convinced to do it at that stage. And I’m glad I didn’t as I have changed some of these texts now and I’d rather be definitely happy with them before making a publication, after which — let’s be honest — you can’t really change once you send it out.
What do you think is your biggest poetic achievement to date?
I have won a few contests, but to be honest I used to give some of my poems to my friends years ago and they got involved in the contests with my texts (and I let them keep the prize, haha!), which seems bit weird but still I never really thought about publishing them when I was younger or putting them under a critic — now I don’t have a problem with that. Before I think I was writing more for myself, to let things out, give them some shape, to fulfil my artistic hunger for creating. And it was so very personal to me — which it still is, but I think a bit differently now — I am somehow different, as some aspects of your thinking change as you grow up. Maybe it was my shyness, too.
My best achievements ever are comments from the people that read the poems. This is the best thing you can get: when you inspire someone or move them emotionally. I don’t have a big purpose in my writing though. I write because it’s a part of me and it comes so naturally.
What’s the best thing about writing poetry? And the worst?
I don’t know what the best thing is. Definitely it’s good when people want to share any of your passions with you, when they want to talk about it, when it helps them with their own emotions and they can relate to it somehow if they want to. It’s the very same with music sometimes, you know, it’s all human emotions in spite of the style or critical quality of the poems — if peple like it and want to share it, read it again, have it in their collection, it’s the nicest thing.
On the other hand, writing always helps the author to cope with his/her own emotions, good and bad. It’s such a natural reaction when you’re writing. I don’t plan my topics and style, it just goes out of me in many different ways sometimes.
It’s also the hunger for creation I mentioned — it can describe your passions, inspirations, yourself within.
Maybe that’s why it’s such a barrier for me sometimes. My writing is the most personal part of me life, it’s the real me down to my bones sometimes and despite the fact that I would like to keep some of the secrets for myself, I just have to let it out.
I do this very much for myself. Many people would tell you that writing is a sort of revenge on reality. The freedom it brings you is unbelivable sometimes. It helps you not only write of beautiful things and your fullfilments, it helps you write about your fears, your hopes, it helps you deal with the painful experiences sometimes. I used to call writing in one of my poems a drop of blood dried in a soul. It’s just a part of your personality.
When you want to get to know someone, follow their writings, their paintings, their music. That’s not only the way they think, that’s the best way to know how they perceive, it’s the was to understand their deepest emotions and various reactions… it’s beautiful when you can amaze someone with something. If it’s true it means you amaze them with the way you are. I got amazed lately for example with the music of Josh Groban. I tell you, I absolutely love it! I always have a hunger for beauty, for something to inspire me, to give me a new kick. It gives you a drive. It’s absolutely amazing and the influence of it on certain people is so huge. It brings you somewhere else, it opens your brain and your heart, it gets to all your cells and make you boil at times. it makes you FEEL. Your perception rises a lot.
Well I don’t know what the worst thing is, either.. It’s bit tricky. You see, I am oversensitive, what I find in myself sometimes — that’s what I have been told. It doesn’t mean that I cry a lot. I coped with a lot of things, it’s not that. It’s just being so very easily touched, moved by certain things, situations. You can write, you can feel so much more — you also overreact sometimes, things might hurt you deeply. When you know yourself, it can lead to good works and pay back in absorbing so many simple things on a high level, it brings you higher and makes you happy, rises your spirit. I mean things that some people normally would ignore or not even see. But it when it comes to the tougher part of life, it doesn’t help — it burns you longer, causes bigger holes. I say that about oversensitivity because that’s what it is in my case.
I also am very critical to myself, what - honestly - drives me nuts sometimes! This is how I can answer that question, going around maybe but still.
Got any suggestions for young, upcoming poets?
Yes, I was talking to a few of them recently. I will say what I told them: don’t worry if you don’t feel good enough, I still don’t feel good enough after years of writing. I thought I was writing differently to anyone I knew or read, I couldn’t relate to anything. I followed my inner voice. Don’t try to follow any styles, be yourself, listen to yourself, create your own way, be true with yourself, give yourself the freedom. Don’t compare, everyone is different, people may perceive various things in different ways, they might like different things, they might have had different educational or emotional backgrounds that build them to be that way or made them find the way they write. Let yourself be YOU. This is one of the best things that your art may bring — plus only then it will give you satisfaction. You are your own master and with every few years you’ll write better, with your personal development your writing will develop and grow into many different shapes, I guarantee that. Don’t ever be afraid to have your own style. It’s precious. So don’t stop, it’s a gift, make it blossom.
Who/what influences your poetry?
Yes, a common but a very good question!
I have to say that I was definitely somehow developed and was inspired by the poets and writers I have grown up reading.
I won’t give you names at this stage as there might be so many and couldn’t really tell which of them had better or bigger or smaller influence on me. Because I was writing since I was so young, in my primary school, I think it’s been easier to develop my writing by myself and I don’t follow any particular poets or styles. My writing is still my writing, sometimes better, sometimes worse.
I never attended any lessons of creative writing or similar things and in my case that was a great decision — I decided to do it only my way because it’s more true to me and it gives me more freedom in what I do. As I say - in my case.
The huge things that matter are your personal experiences and the way your life interacts with you, the way you deal with it, how it makes you feel, how you want to let it out, explain and express it. So that would be people I meet in my life, the things that have happend, my fears, hopes, desires. Everything that makes me feel really good or bad. The way I am is what life has made of me and the way I deal with it still, the way I want to write about it and the way I want to let it out.
Then, I have things from the outside world that inspire me and give me some sort of emotions (see “Teotihuacan”, the poem below). I write of myself, of people, of nature, of things generally. Most of all, I write of life and various emotions.
On Monday I left with my suitcase at 4 am in the morning waiting for someone to collect me to drive me to the airport.
For the first time in a long time I ‘perceived’ the nature around me, without running rushing anywhere. I felt the slight cold from the early morning frost but I liked it, I watched the very few lights in the houses around, I wondered what the people in them at that time were doing. I watched the trees. For a long time [in the past] I was concentrating on so many different things (plus I work in accounts which makes you get into quite logical stuff!) and I had so much to do sometimes that I forgot to stop myself for a moment to bring a few moments like that… A month ago I wouldn’t have thought, that at four in the morning I would sit on my suitcase and start writing a poem. It was still dark and if one of my neighbours would see me sitting on my red suitcase and writing stuff they would probably think I’m mad. I will give you my common answer — I don’t care. It felt right.
He says he loves being there
and that’s where he comes back
it’s a place where gods are born
can you see the ashes
as they’re all around
can you feel their ghosts
in the wind behind
are they good ones?
I would climb
just to get the feeling
on the Pyramid of Sun
with child’s curiosity
as the winds get through me…
do you feel the strength
as it rises your spirit
and pushes you forward
to light and freedom
is that it?
as you stand over there
and opening your mouth
you look ahead…
how does it feel?
it must be just magic
let it in
is that where the world was born?
the moon and the sun?
in that corner?
it might be amazing
does it feel like light
is filling you up
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