How does the process of writing a poem start for you?

Well, it starts in various ways. Sometimes it starts with an idea. I, for example, have been thinking about the fact that one of my sisters has a name, her name is Seywan, and it was very much - when she was born - it was a place where there were picnics. Unfortunately over the years it became a graveyard. You think of these things, you think of the clash of a place with a person, and what that means for that person and their history. I thought about this for a long time, the idea was there and it was developing in my head, it took, I think, two to three years to write a poem about it. Other times it starts with a title, like Pyjamas 1983. Other times it starts with an image, I have a poem in Kurdish 'Yekek Bereda Teperri' Somebody Passed Through Here, and it's about somebody who passes through a land and the colours follow him, and the voices go into his pockets and everything. That was an image, the birds were flying and taking their song with him, that started really with a physical image of a person passing through a land, and then the language came later. So various poems have different starting points. I have another poem, There Was, and that again started with an idea. It came about when I was in England and was thinking how you have two seasons in this country, and I missed the four seasons that we had back home. That again was stewing for a long time, it was an idea that was there, and it clashed with other ideas, and suddenly something was born.


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