How to interpret poetry – chapter 2 of 2

What are the basic things you can do to make your poetic-comprehension better?

Here are the few basic things that you can try (some poem forms may have strict formats or overtly regularized rules of syllable count or line count, but considering most  poems are written as free verse) –

  1. You may read the poem’s title but don’t try to articulate your understanding of the poem around it. The poet may have variety of reasons for naming it and the fact that the title appears in the last line or is mostly repeated as a word, isn’t a great one to think so.
  1. Unless it’s a story running, there’s no beginning, middle and end-it’s not written like that. If there are five stanzas, each one is good enough to understand the intent of the poetry.
  1. Always try to look for the theme of the poem and try to guess the mood/state-of-wonder of the poet, in which it must have been written. There will always be circumstances that compel and challenge a poet, to sit down and write his verses.  What do you think were for this one?
  1. The most important thing is to understand the comparisons- if the poem is good with metaphors or if the poem is great with simile (because these are the most common & mostly used figure of speeches). If you can get a hang of few comparisons of those many, you can catch the thread of this big-revolving ball, embroiled with thoughts.
  1. If you can sympathize with the poem, that is good but if you see yourself in the poet’s shoes then it’s a great poem.  every poem with an emphatic effect is a master-piece.
  1. Rhyming schemes are not important, some poems may be structured like normal lines broken at random intervals, some with repetition of ‘ if,when,of’-> to start each line of stanza, some poet’s may obviate the breaking into stanzas and are completely obsessed with the momentum of it, the same way it has hit them while writing it. some poems may be decorated with lot of words that are rhyming together, sweet-sounding homophones, some have lot of commas & semicolon usages. some poets address a change or challenge into the society , they take pride in writing long line verses and repetitions that vociferate their idea. some just concentrate on so many multi-level comparisons, that everything else is forgotten.

Hence, it is not important to understand the rhyming scheme or words usage. As you may see, no poem can have all those attributes, if poem lives on one, it sacrifices the other.

It is important to catch the mental tone, in which the poet has written it. The maximum energy of his skills goes where? Find out?- the figure of speeches, the rhyming scheme, the beginning of the line, the momentum. Etc. it’s reverse-engineering. You try to put yourself in his shoes and you get everything as he has painted. You have your ocular device to view it and discuss your image of his vivid description.


How does a poet sees his poetry?

A poet sees his poetry as an external sense of his physical self. He takes all the bubbles of his emotional and mental thoughts, his innermost turmoil, he mixes them up and present it on paper via his tools. It is now captured into a static medium of observation from a dynamic, ever-evolving chain of thoughts. It has a specific date & time of birth. It can be spread & shared to others ,who will see it and express themselves too. They might be triggered into a similar state of realization. Hence, the poet’s need of expressing his idea is the fascination of its complexity, his spiritual gratification lies in the accomplishment of this task and the open end to the process is the revolution that it has created for others who read it.


What should you never tell a poet about his poem?

  1. Never tell a poet that he has a great vocabulary and that was an awesome word he used. The poet is already in a life-long struggle with himself to find the correct words, which of-course is a learning process and sometimes a frustrating wild-goose chase. He is more interested in the verbiage of the viewer of that poem (the person whose in the poem’s scene or scenario).
  1.  Never conclude a poem or give a linear opinion. Nobody in the poetic brethren will like it.
  1. Never lecture a poet to pick the topics or work on diluting the abstract thoughts to reader’s end. Remember! It’s not in his control! He writes what he experiences. If it’s intentional & topics are chosen to cater the reader, quality & purpose of the poem will suffer.
  1. Don’t give stupid comments that the rhyming is so abab! I like it! Or syllable count is great or its- long or short. These are simply secondary observations. He is more interested in your open-end description or your sympathy/empathy with the state of trance.
  1. At last, if you can suitably suggest an alternate title to the poem or discuss your opinion about a similar poem. It will be work great at both ends.

Where to start now after reading all of this?

The best place to start is with poems that can appeal. Simply, pick up limericks ( these are usually funny), haiku ( relates to idea of a scene) , general free verse poems of comical genres or poems on sarcasm about everyday’s life situation. It will be easier to start with and you can build your interest and dwell into other complicated work as per you discretion.




Good luck reading poems.

being a reader

being a reader



Vishu mishra

How to interpret poetry – chapter 1 of 2

If you are already an expert in writing poetry. This write-up is not for your read. If your well- versed with your simile, metaphor, other figure of speeches, this is not the article to read. however, if   logical demons of your mind averse you from getting into reading the stanzas, lines that outpour the mental euphoria, beautifully expressed phases of mental trance, moments of wonder that are captured on pages-> this article can give you few tips to open your mind into their acceptance. After-all, if you like reading English and don’t like poetry, there’s a major chunk of expression art you’re missing out while skipping those seemingly abstract phrases of poems.


Q: are you a music lover, do you listen to songs, appreciate the lyrics of all kind of music- hip-hop ,top charts, rap songs, trend breaking rhymes etc ? ( everything with melody, rhyme, song ,symmetry, is a poem at its core)


What happens when you try to read a poem-?

  1. You look at the title and you try to guess what this poem is all about.
  2. You see the length of the poem & the lines in each stanza with a cursory view.
  3. Mid-way through the poem-> you lose the trail of thought & start feeling that the abstract thought of poet is overdone.
  4. Finally, you pick one or two of your new-found favorite lines from that poem and you appreciate it. You pick few good words and its usage in the poem, praising the novelty of the poet.
  5. You get out of it, do away with formalities of appreciation & make a subconscious-mental note of never visiting that page/poem again.


Now a factoid

Perception of Beauty – what is the most common perception of beauty, is it complexity? Is it conspicuous difficulty in creating it? Is it the aesthetic, emotional, personal value connected to it? However, lot of answers may vary from person-to-person, but to a common viewer, the most noticeable perception of beauty is symmetry. It falls equally appealing to the logical mind and the artistic mind.

This is one of the prime reasons that when we look to evaluate something, which is seemingly un-familiar or even vague, our major value points are based on its symmetry.

In context to poetry-> the consistency with lines & syllables in the stanzas, the flow and the rhyming scheme. If any of these-three is distorted, we lose our hope to further familiarize with it.




How do people get into the flow of writing poetry and evolve with it?

I always wanted to know the basic difference between a writer and a poet. I couldn’t guess until I myself started writing articles. If I had two different brains and I begin to vacillate between the flow of a writer and the flow of a poet-

Things that would remain the same

  1. In both minds, I would be in a momentum of rushing thoughts, far more enhanced and over-powering to the body i.e. a psychogenic phenomenon. The control of mind over the body is so strong that it has a visible effect.
  2. Both minds are moody. One day they may work for 14 hrs a day and for others they may simply put you off.
  3. Both minds work dynamically in constructing their expressions, i.e. the idea may be static but its aspects, priority & revelation may keep on changing from one moment to another. For e.g. if I get an idea right now & I start writing an article about it or create a poem about it, something good comes out.

Now, if I keep that idea in mind and I stall its construction say till the evening. It’s revealing to note that the work that was done in the day to the night will have great difference in its structuring.


Things that are different in comparison


  1. Writing an article may take the most intellectual fodder of your brain & your mind sinks into it completely but good poetry writing is a synergism of- mind, soul & heart. Therefore, it is usually written in complete silence & isolation, where in an article may-be written sipping through you cappuccino in a coffee house, A poem commands the complete support of your emotion, memory, soul, heart & mind. It is as if you’re in a state of wonder. The process is highly metaphysical & super-sophisticated in nature.


  1. Both minds may-be moody but if writing is done to recapitulate a larger narration or give a view point, Poetry is done to satiate your need for personal expressions & imitate the beautification of -nature ,thought or a scenery by one’s skill in indirect & direct comparison.


  1. Both minds work dynamically, but one works linearly and other (poetic) loves to work in varied- dimensions-> sentences are twisted, phrases are inverted, word forms are changed, everything is done to break the linearity and rules. The language and draft of a writer may-be binding but a poet loves to keep as many open ends as possible, everything is subjective, he will provide you with a view and give you different lenses and ocular devices to view it. He will love to see you notice something further.


  1. A writer may love to simplify a scene but a poet will always take pride in its synthesis. It’s like viewing a mountain & a river, the writer writes about his awe of this vivid scenery but a poet might sometime never mention the river & mountain as a separate entity i.e. forming a scene but comparing them to something else. He will even work in creating the un-seen relations between these two- in harmony, different weathers, with the clouds, with the trees, with the animals & all this is being worked at multi- levels in his poetic brain.


He might finally come up with an entirely different narration to explain the scenery & the poem’s title will never be about the scene but the innermost revelation in the process. On the other hand, writers tend to give a hook & sneak-peak to intimate about the content in the article. A poet is least bothered about the hook but the joy of his creation & the entire flow of read.



left over discussion in chaper 2. to be published in 24 hrs.

how to interpret poetry

how to interpret poetry


vishu mishra

Aeke’s journey of hip-hop culture

I sat in the busy hours of ‘diamond café’ – paharganj , Delhi with akash khandelwal a.k.a. ‘aeke’, as he was given this popular nickname in the underground hip-hop community of Delhi. He would ponder over my question, wearing his ‘d2bx’ crew t-shirt, awaiting his tea and butter toast. After giving a time of thought – he came up with an interesting way to explain his current state of mind, about his pursuit of culture and current interests,

if you’re at a bigger turn on life’s road, you may sometimes feel that you’re on a straighter path”, he said.

Akash khandelwal /‘aeke’, at the young age of 24 has been part of one of the first breaking crews from Delhi. In past five years, he has been actively involved in spreading the underground hip-hop culture through events, blogs, orkut, facebook pages and (now) his brand new website-‘one circle world’.He is a pretty silent guy for his age, probably at peace with himself and his passion for hip-hop. he is fairly tall, with spiky –haircut, an athletic built. He attires himself (usually) in loose jeans, slogan t-shirts and looks brighter even under the lamp shade of our resto-table. His very first impression would be a sharp-face cut, eyes full of lively thoughts & a great presence of mind. Even after writing his quarter life journal along the lines of pioneering his greatest passion (hip-hop culture), the spark to excel and the hunger to know more is everlasting.

opening @ Smoke Jam at Snoop Dogg New Delhi Concert 2013

opening @ seven to Smoke Jam at Snoop Dogg New Delhi Concert 2013

Why do you advocate the importance of knowledge in underground hip-hop community?

he believes that for an artist, the fifth element of hip-hop (knowledge) is the ultimate inspiration for creativity. There have been two schools for an artist since long, the commercial grounds and the underground. The former has everything to offer a young and promising career-a stage of fame, success, but it is ephemeral and destroys the journey of an artist.
“artist should always be confused and in constant turmoil, else he’s not an artist”, he said.
“These commercial forums destroys the natural process, everything is easy to be- fill a form, perform and ask for votes, get some money? But is that helping him in his long run or just a short burn of falsehood”, he said fervently with a shrug. I felt that his assertion about these two paths was simply true. he continued to explain that there have not been many genuine emcees on the world stage of hip-hop since 90’s, Eminem was among last ones who talked about the current scene. Therefore, an underground movement is necessary to preserve that balance & dilute the toxicity of commercialization into this art. The artist should constantly ask himself about what he desires out of his passion and then let himself loose, every single time. However, few among many choose the longer & difficult process. “The hunt for security has died with commercialization”, he said, quoting from his own bag of one liners .

aeke snapped@chilling with- With RedBull BC World Champion - Roxrite

aeke snapped chilling with-
RedBull BC World Champion – Roxrite

Can you recall your first inspiration in this journey?

On my constant dwelling about his first inspiration, he recalls that his first influence was probably the ‘WWE Aggression’- cassette in the year 2000. where he got influenced with the composition and voices of famous artists-‘the method man’ & ‘run DMC’. However, he did not totally understood them from the hip-hop point of view but they had a powerful association with his thoughts. Following an year later, he got obsessed with the lyrics of the famous Eminem song, ‘cleaning out my closet’ and even got inspired to write his own raw-rhymes, free verse poetry. For years to come, he followed the post -Eminem era, the likes of 50 cent- which glorified a gangster’s life, romanticized violence and ghetto brotherhood & the pre-Eminem era, the work of dr.dre,which was mostly the fillers in the songs.

snapped @ work dj OIC -one inch cut with two turntables.

snapped @ work
dj OIC -one inch cut with two turntables.

How did such music engaged your curiosity into hip-hop’s backstage?

“there was a various artist collection-work by VH1,by the name of –hip-hop culture, I totally remember listening to 2pac’s ghetto gospel”, he said. This was probably the first time when he had been inspired from a song which talks about the social issues of the black & their community. He tried to dwell on that inspiration by dissociating from the decorations of the hip hop culture and started his search to find the true elements.

You always talk about “the roots”? what is it? & what is the turning point of your journey?” I asked him, sipping through my ginger tea and scrolling down the food menu.

It was eight o’ clock in the evening and I was really starving. He nodded & started explaining, that even though he was experiencing free-thinking and exhibiting iconoclastic behavior, he felt bonded due to the added pressure from his family. Going to kota(2006) to prepare for engineering college entrances and then pdm-college, Bahadurgarh (2007), to study mechanical engineering – were the most significant of all events.

At Adidas Orignials Jam , Amity University 2013

At Adidas Orignials Jam , Amity University 2013

The former– helped to seclude himself from un-wanted pressure and dwell into his own mental horizons. The kind of groups and people he interacted with (in kota) ,always focused their communication on the lines of knowledge about things & he draw a parallel- that it is imperative for an artist in any discipline. This really helped him in his introspection and as he said it, “my hunger for subjectivity”, throwing another quote from his bag of personalized snippets of artist’s (his) diary, written over & over through his inner mental turmoil.

The latter– offered him with a completely contrasting culture, a rural environment & a college infested with pupils/ideals of a backdrop society – where the urban wear & fancy hairstyles were literally mocked. he got insulted at various occasions from the administration, colleagues,locals etc.
“it literally dragged me away from the decorations of hip-hop & inspired me towards the non-flashy aspects i.e. my thinking about hip-hop”, he said, he paused then burst into a laughter, recalling some funny incident of his verbal dispute with a haryanavi student on his appearance and clothing. Following those events, he left high-branded clothes & materialistic expressions and aspired to living authentic.

It was about nine o clock in the night, and the chit-chatter of a foreigner group at the nearby table, was really making it hard to communicate. I had to be loud and frame the most important question.

how did D2BX crew come to life? what’s the story?”,I asked.

He ordered for another butter toast and a glass orange juice, returned the food menu and paused for a moment, then started filling the gaps,“there were a couple of guys whose interest was dancing but they knew nothing of it, himanshu and rishi (now a famous popper) were among the first initiatives, to others it was nothing more than ‘uchal kud’ (jumping jack) dance”,he said and laughed.

They made a breaking (now popular as bboying ) crew when all colleges (delhi & NCR ) were following Punjabi bhangra, western style, co-ordination dance forms, etc etc. .Theirs’ were the mechanical wing of the engineering college, an all boy group and it was brand new. it caught everyone’s attention and it completely rocked. “I still remember, it was towards the end of 2008,our first performance as a bboying crew was in lingayas college,Faridabad, it was a great experience”,he smiled.

D2BX CREW - 'the four color theorem'

D2BX CREW – ‘the four color theorem’

However, the journey of the D2BX crew had not been easy. “what does it stands for?”I asked.

He said, “its simply Delhi to Bahadurgarh express, because I got all my ideas while travelling to college”. I couldn’t ignore but appreciate the clarity of his thoughts in naming his crew & then drilled him further on the narration.

Please talk more about your experience with this group?

He narrated that it was mostly lot of internet searching, event participation, show performances, watching old videos, torrent downloading. In one way, they stood out from other evolving groups as ‘aeke’ believed & focused on developing the individual crew member ,then taking the elements along with their understanding. however, they were disappointment as they were mostly losing in places they anticipated victory.

“there were people who were making egregious errors, mixing Punjabi songs to breaking or picking up commercial tracks for ciphers (the circle formed by audience where the crew on crew dancing battles take place), we took our songs with extensive research, like ‘is just begun’ by jimmy caster bunch is a 70’s classic breaking track, but in 2009, our 2rd year performace , the judges disqualified us for not using a hip-hop song!!! clearly it was those times when judges didn’t completely understood the culture or themselves had no real association with it”, he said in a confident tone.

How did you guys do with all those ridiculous odds?, I interrupted him.

He paused then followed with my question. he explained that this was the point where the D2BX crew turned more iconoclastic in their behavior and started seeing it in every aspect of their life, whether the college education system, populist views, Indian parenting methods, social and fashion trends, music. It was one of those phases when hip hop was re-routing and breaking through their deep-rooted establishments and renovating them for a change. They started their search for the wider scene of this culture in india and travelled to different places to perform/ attend workshops.
“as mentioned in one of bruce lee’s movies, enemy is an illusion, destroy the illusions- social trends, outdated norms, mugged understanding of things, enemy will be destroyed”. he quotes.

Is there any group u looked up to in your dancing years?

“the scene was really prominent in Bombay unlike Delhi and we were really inspired by ‘freak n styles’, one of the first Bombay crew, lot of solo artists hanged out as crew in events but we were the first ones to officially declare ourself as the bboying crew, one of the first in delhi,then things took on very fast in two years”, he said.

With Legendary Bboy Gadget of the Boogie Brats Crew 2011

With Legendary Bboy Gadget of the Boogie Brats Crew 2011

How was the competition and evolution among groups in the evolving years of the community?

Lot of groups created sensation with their new moves – windmills, flair, headstands, double hand stands, even a little advancement by one group made a world of difference to another. The passions were really high and the stage was ever-ready.The first biggest event was ‘the crank dat’, dce, delhi, where D2BX won the solo popping title and were the runners’ up ,they were beaten by tandav crew. The rock fresh crew ( a crew of ex members of freak n style crew) had also participated in the event and won the event. This was the time when the real Hip-hop movement that had taken off in india.

“why just hip-hop?why not dubstep? Or progressive music.?is there a particular reason”,I asked.

he smiled and said, “I don’t really know the ‘why’ of it, maybe I could relate to its energy and the emceeing part really hooked me in.Its mostly about thinking stuff in mind and writing it down in your diary and then telling it to a gathering on an event. (He firmly stated with hand gestures) it is imperative that an emcee should have the power to hold the crowd and make them interested, but most importantly – he should spread the knowledge, I relate to it and it gives me peace. simple”.

Meanwhile, in my head

I understood his reasons completely. If I could revise my facts from my previous investigating with ‘aeke’ & his cultural get-togethers – hip-hop was build on the foundation of peace, love, unity and fun, ‘aeke’ was in pursuit of all four. The hip-hop culture has five main elements- knowledge, breaking, emceeing, djing, graffiti.

[It is unfortunate that the concept of all four artistic elements co-existing in a community event is fading away. It’s true that Emceeing was the most important aspect as it lead to the spread of culture and live recordings, which made it sellable and popular but it also contaminated the art by over commercialization of recording companies]

how do you see yourself in this journey and what’s next?, I asked.

He said, “its very difficult to summarize, I have gone right from fighting 8 bar (16 lines) rap battles on orkut communities to interacting with local emcee’s of delhi and finding my own place, I have seen the high and low of my involvements, as my group got diluted after 2011, so I secretly started a community page – Indian bboying news (1900 members) to hold the Indian roots and bare the false claims of people claiming to be pioneers, or militating against foreign national amateurs – who were trying to establish themselves as professionals and starting their own brand of culture. I did that by posting contradicting videos, scandalizing stupid/false stuff just for fun, then later in the year I organized one of the the biggest jams –‘crank dat 2012’ and now I am working on my newly build website-‘one circle world’ (currently 800 members on community page), which will serve as a wall for all worldwide events happening in our underground community. I have grown with it in time, to me underground hip- hop culture is simply taglined as –“art is expression’.thats it”, he concluded.

aeke With world champion - Bgirl Shie Chan at Crank Dat 2012

aeke With world champion – Bgirl Shie Chan at Crank Dat 2012

[Right now, ‘aeke’ spends his time in understanding colors, as his new bend is towards graffiti art. he believes that being an artist is just a continuation of trial and errors. sometimes you have to go out of orientation to search for all possibilities and then achieve an upper level to arrange them on a later stage in life.”let loose”,he quotes.

“when,why,what- I don’t know, I am inclined towards knowledge and right now I have broken the barrier of genre, I am just in search for ways of expression, right now am studying Rajasthani style of paintings and Mathura style, let’s see what else I can put my hands on to understand painting better”, he said.

’aeke’ has taken his journey from expressing energy in bboying/breaking, emceeing to tell the truth and spreading the culture, to organizing and networking the events and for the time he will wander to search for his curiosity about graffiti art. These may be different phases but hip-hop has allowed him an ultimate movement for the soul like so many others in this community.]

me with aeke @from the roots: graffiti of afrikan bambaataa by dj OIC-one inch cut

me with Aeke 22nd april,2012 @from the roots-2012′ ,saraswati dance school,delhi.
graffiti – graffiti of afrikan bambaataa by dj OIC-one inch cut

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One Circle World

One Circle World

cover story: aeke's journey of hip-hop culture.

cover story: aeke’s journey of hip-hop culture.

check out similar web pages -1. introduction to hip-hop ,2. additional info. page.



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by: vishu mishra