It is a pleasure to share Whispers’ first interview with you. Isha Wagner is an accomplished poet from New Zealand who has been contributing her insightful poetry for our online journal since 2013. She has been an international traveler, connecting with others that embrace the gift of words. Her writing conveys cultures, allowing us to travel with her.
Thank you, Isha, for sharing your thoughts for this interview…
Karen--Where are you from?
Isha--I was born in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. I am fifth generation New Zealander of Scottish/English heritage.
Karen--How would you describe your life?
Isha--I am a traveler, traveling over the world from a young age.
Karen--Why do you write?
Isha--Perhaps to express an idea and perhaps, more importantly, to communicate with others...always a deep desire to write in words something one wants to express in the written word.
Karen--How did your interest in poetry begin?
Isha--I recall sitting on a park bench when about seven years old saying to myself--I will be a writer and that stayed in my mind. So, I began to write little poems, but these were not accepted well so I stopped and decided to wait till I was an adult. (Editor's thoughts--It is so sad that people can't celebrate and encourage young writers. I hope if anyone knows of a young writer that the Whispers community can celebrate, please email me at email@example.com)
Karen--Have you any preferred style of poetry you like to write in?
Isha--I prefer to write freely. When writing rhymed poetry, it always seems to me to be contrived and somewhat false or pretentious. And yet I know this is not so in reality, it's simply as I see it. I just write as I write without--as I see it--without restriction.
Karen--If you could make a wish and have it come true what would it be?
Isha--This is difficult to answer as each day I have a different wish: I could say there is not one specific wish I wish for. Today, writing these few words, my wish is to live forever. And, tomorrow I may wish I had never been born! Yesterday, I wished for a disease-free world. As said, one has varied opinions.
Karen--If you had a chance to live your life again, what would you change?
Isha--I would change my thought processes, have a clearer, sharper mind, become all-knowing and probably go into the sciences and study physics.
Karen--What final words would you like to say to the reader?
Isha--Write as if your life depends on it which in a sense it does. Despite little praise or words of encouragement, there is a degree of satisfaction especially when you look back at your earlier work and think did I write that? There is, after all, much comfort to be derived from putting your thoughts and ideas that spring up spontaneously - into written poetry. And you will never know how much pleasure and even meaning you can give to others' lives.
Karen—In closing, Isha’s poetry has been celebrated and appreciated at Whispers. She encourages others with her insightful comments for them. We reach out--we cross borders--we grow. I will let Isha’s poem and bio share the rest of this column. Thank you so much, Isha, for this interview.
Birthday at Tatum Park
a chilly August windless blue sky day
and the elegantly served afternoon tea
of Earl Grey and English Breakfast
with silver pots and fine bone china
gladden the eyes glazed with cataract
and distracts the minds from rheumatic limbs
later we walk amongst the statues of trees
planted by settlers over a century ago
the camera in my hands awaits to capture
the face of a child of seventy-five this day
pinched, wrinkled, thinning bright white hair
with aloof but thick knowing eyes
lens pointed to immortalise the nostalgia
please, she says gently, don't
I look so different from how I feel
her remark astounds me
I put the camera away and
leave this moment alone
Isha Wagner is a New Zealand poet. She has resided in many countries including Iceland, Libya, India, and Australia. She read some of her work at the VIII International Poetry Festival held in Granada, Nicaragua, in February 2012. She has had three collections of poetry published.