Shortlist | Poetry

‘Dunkelheit’ – a Poetry Anthology

Dunkelheit, a German word, refers to all the things that are easily visible and distinguishable in the dark. The reason Aviral, a second year student at University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt, Germany, chose this as the title to his anthology of poetry is because it is an attempt to “embody the journey towards the light through the darkness, thus accentuating the importance of being lost and embracing your flaws in order to reach towards your greater self.” As the book — a conversation between God and Man wherein the former attempts to understand mortal life — comes out soon, ATKT.in talks to the young poet about his journey as a poet.

Dunkelheit would not be his first book–Aviral has previously published a book titled ‘The Canvas’, right after completing his high school, when he attended a book-publishing workshop and realised his wish to publish the hundreds of poems he had written over the years. Through the course of 6 chapters, namely Existential Seeking, Faith, Blasphemy, Nostalgia, Love, and Salvation, it plays around with the meaning of life. Each and every piece sustains its individuality, eventually linking up and taking you on a journey that embodies different emotions, feelings,  and motives. What links all the prose and poems are a series of 6 different love letters to Sanity.

Aviral began writing poetry as an early teenager. He was transferred from a small town called Meerut, to a school in Noida in his 7th grade, which put his entire life in perspective. “The impact it had on me was surreal. Not only did I deal with two different realities at the mere age of 13, I also understood how vastly different perceptions and ways of being can be,” he says, adding that the idea that life is not just black and white inspired him to jot down ideas as an observer in a new city, eventually leading him to write poetry.

While The Canvas did become an Amazon bestseller, the project did not meet the estimated figures in terms of sales. He understood that his project lacked a connection with the audience, so he decided to enhance his stagecraft. Aviral was in Berlin at that time, and interned with a local group of poets (Berlin Spoken Word) who would organise open mic events in the basement of a bar every week. His job was to guard the down of the basement where the event would take place, collect the entry fee for the event, and sell their merchandise to the audience members. His ‘bosses’, Mary Vlasuk and Naniso Tswai, whom to him were more like friends and mentors, and were kind enough to allow him to promote and sell his book with their merchandise. It is there that he met his current mentor, Mark Mace Smith, who is a UK-based spoken word poet. He has had various sessions with him wherein he learned the tricks and methods of becoming a good performer.

Aviral believes that poetry transcends love and heartbreaks. He says, “Poetry is a way of being. A way of being which tells you that in life, not everything is supposed to rhyme or fit together. But that does not mean that life has lost its harmony.” 

To know more about his latest book and future performances, watch this space.

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Check out other Shortlist entries here.

By the ATKT.in Editorial Team.