Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Interview with poet Kadeem Graham

Poet Kadeem Graham joins me today to chat about a new collection of poems, Eyes to the World.

Welcome, Kadeem. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a fine art student in my 2nd year with an inclination towards sculpture, I play piano, I am a voracious reader of classic literature and poetry and I have a passion for ancient history.

What do you enjoy most about writing poems?
For me, what I enjoy most about writing, is the expression of my soul into words and metaphors. It is a way of understanding the interior of my soul and an understanding of my place in the world. Also, for me is the ability to create a set of images or imagery that resonate with the emotions I feel, for example, I would compare crying and sadness to the flow of an endless river or rage and anger to the heat of a burning sun.

Can you give us a little insight into a few of your poems – perhaps a couple of your favorites?
Here are excerpts from some of my favourite poems

Two from my current book and two in other books to come

There’s A Dream

In the ones who lost it all
In the ones who lost the factories
In the ones who strike and rally 
In the ones who hope for more 
In the ones standing up against the establishment 

For me this poem, is an uplifting and inspiring piece, that captures the idea of hope in the midst of our turbulent political times. The idea that everyone regardless of colour, nationality, class, background has a dream, we haven’t achieved, but we want to reach towards.

Midnight World

The sun has run out of life
The thunder has taken a turn
towards our fate
The moon has moved from our compass
The stars have switched off their dreams
The meteorites march for the war
The sea run into dry mouths

This poem, is an almost apocalyptic vision of our world today, a world ravaged by environmental destruction, lawlessness, political chaos and lack of hope if we refuse to change our ways. In many ways, it is a forewarning piece of work about our uncertain future, as in the line ‘the thunder has taken a turn towards our fate’ we have created an extreme environment that is weaponized against us.

At Winter’s Mercy

The angels seem to be following me
The golden star has fallen off the tree
The freezing breeze is losing sleep
The snowy weather falls
The icicles drop like shattered hearts
The skeleton in the wind is walking free

This poem in it’s dark, almost gothic atmosphere it creates is one of my favourites. This was written in the winter a couple of years, when I was in deep emotional anguish. I was comparing the brutality and coldness of winter with Christmas imagery. I was feeling contradictory feelings joy at the coming of Christmas, but also sadness and hopelessness. The poem is incredibly painful, but is also very therapeutic to me.

Oh The Night 

The night skies were bright
The stars were blue flies
The clouds were silver dust
Sleep was a set of jewels
I came across and kept in a secret box
I was sailing in a sea of stars
Where the moon was raining in light

A more recent poem of mine. This poem comes from marvel, wonder, amazement and mystery at the enduring image of the night sky. As an artist and writer, the night sky is an endlessly inspiring place. In this poem, through use of imagery and metaphor, I wanted to conjure up the whimsical and almost magical quality of the stars, the moon and the night sky.

What form are you inspired to write in the most? Why?
I am most inspired to write in free verse, with the occasional rhyming scheme. For me, as a poet this is the most liberating exercise in being truly imaginative and creative with the scenes, images and metaphors I wish to create. I am not restricted by strict rules, I let my imagination flow.

What type of project are you working on next?
I usually write day by day, working from a word, phrase that has inspired a poem. I hope in the future, to release a collection of poetry based on love and my longstanding discussion of spirituality and faith.

When did you first consider yourself a writer / poet?
I first considered myself a poet, when one day I was on a journey to work and I was musing at the window looking at the sky and clouds, and I began writing how I felt about that. That inspiration lead to my first poem, The Clouds. I showed it to family and friends, and they told me it was amazing. I began to realize I could express my feelings into words about anything and everything and I used that to significant effect, I began to write more and more and the rest they say is history. Today, I write poems about my feelings and experiences and my reflections upon the world.

The Clouds

The clouds awash with the skies
With their piercings and openings
Sights into other worlds
Slowly pulsating
Delicate and ethereal
Woven by the gods
Journeying across the globe
Visiting distant regions and unknown locales
Some journey alone, others journey together
On their way creating havoc and chaos to the people
Or peace and tranquility to the people who need them
I wave to the clouds a goodbye
For I know they will always be there
Awashing the skies with their beauty

How do you research markets for your work, perhaps as some advice for not-yet-published poets?
I haven’t got too that stage just yet, I am still working on marketing myself and my work to the general public. My advice for not yet published poets, is keep writing it will greatly improve your writing ability and insights into work. Have your own unique style of writing, be different, my way of writing will be different to yours. Have a read of works by other poets. Try and get published if you can, make sure it has a great front cover and you have the rights. Publish it for yourself most of it all, for personal achievement and don’t stop writing if it doesn’t succeed. Just keep writing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can write a poem from a verse or line that just pops into my head, like ice melting from a cloud’s shine, just thought of that now ha-ha.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to do something creative, something interesting where I didn’t end working 9-5 in an office, disappearing into boredom. I am living my dream today.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Have a look at a preview of my e-book on Amazon if you can and keep writing!

Thanks for being here today!

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