Nigar Arif was born in 1993 on the 20th of January in Azerbaijan. She studied at Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University in the English faculty in 2010- 2014 and graduated from “III Youth Writers’ School” in “Azerbaijan Writers’ Union” in 2016- 2017. Nigar Arif is a member of “Azerbaijan Writers’ Union”, “World Union of Young Turkish Writers”, “İnternational Writers’ Union in Kyrgyzstan”, “Writers Union of Central Asia” and the “International Forum for Creativity and Humanity” in Morocco. Her first book – “The Room of Memories “was published with Arabic ABC in Iran. Her poems have been partially translated into English, Turkish, Russian, Persian, Chinese , Portuguese , Montenegro, Spanish, Arabic, İndian, Urdu and have been published in different countries. She was a participant of “IV LIFT- Eurasian Literary Festival of Festivals “which was held in Baku in 2019 and “30 Festival Internacional De Poesia De Medillin” in 2020 which was held in Colombia, “Panaroma International Literary Festival 2020” in India at an online platform. She participated at the” Word trip Europe” project, “100 poets around the World for love” and “Fourth Global Poet Virtual Meeting 2020”. The Prelude spoke to the poet and tried to know her personality and work more intimately.
The Prelude: What does poetry mean to you, and how much does the world need poetry?
Nigar Arif: Poetry is a magical and secret world, where I am able to find myself, my soul has a rest and easily express my feelings, thoughts, ideas and pours them into writing to share with other people. It is a part of my life like a music of the silence or colours of the blind… So I can’t imagine myself without writing as I think by the strength of poetry we -as the poets can change many things in the world by spreading our hopes, love, peace.
The Prelude: Where did you live your childhood, and what is the impact of places and memories of your childhood in your creativity?
Nigar Arif:I was born in Mingechevir which is one of the nicest city of Azerbaijan and used to live there till I got accepted to the university in Baku that is Capital of Azerbaijan. When I was on my fifth grade at the school, I won 1st place with my 1st poem called “Spring” at the poetry competition and it boosted my confidence about writing a lot. Then I was acquainted with the well-known poet of my hometown whose name was Elshan Azim and used to have a meeting with the group of young writers every weekends, listened to their poems, had some discussions about poetry, gave them some advices and published their good poems in his newspaper “Sovqat”. I joined them either and it impacted me very well, some poems of mine were published in “Sovqat” in several times, even i got present as a good poet…
The Prelude: It seems to me that you are deeply in communion with nature and dream, what does that mean to you as a poet?
Nigar Arif: Yes, I am fond of nature a lot, it also shows itself in my poems too, even I started writing with the poems that I dedicated to the nature as i can notice the breath of the soil, soul of the rain, wings of the wind etc. I can’t be neglected all those beauties like every poet. And yes, I am a big dreamer, otherwise I couldn’t be a poet, dreaming makes me feeling better by discovering meaning of life.
The Prelude: Is isolation necessary for reading and writing, and how?
Nigar Arif: For me, of course it is important, because you should stay with yourself to talk with your soul, listen to your heart and understand what your brain says. By coming your silent place, ignoring noisy outdoors, may be with the little touches of the nice harmony of the music you can concentrate well enough to your reading, writing or thinking.
The Prelude: Death, loss and grief are recurring motifs in your poems. Especially you wrote in one of your poems: “When you left/ I realized that/ human being is the biggest iceberg/ he is melting for years/ and flowing to dying”. How would you describe these motifs?
Nigar Arif: Death is the main topic which has always made me thinking from the first time that I understand none of us were eternal in the world.We live to reach our desires, goals, making efforts throughout our lives, however all we die in the end.May be I can’t reconcile with this reality or injustice. And I think grief is also necessary thing in our life same as a joy and happiness, it makes us being strong, mature, profound.
The Prelude: You said in one poem: “Look at the world’s clock/ It’s an hour slow/ either joy is late/ or life is drowned by sorrow”. It seems that you have an obsession about time, as if it is a source of anxiety. How do you view time poetically and in life?
Nigar Arif: Time is either strange or complicated concept at the same time, we should set it up correctly, appropriately, and intelligently, otherwise we can late to something and loose as a result, or if we are impatient, can’t wait, we don’t gain what we want.
The Prelude: How do you see the correspondence between arts and the fraternal relationship between creative forms?
Nigar Arif: I think the point of view in the root of all of them is the same, as they are like the branches of the same tree. They need deep emotions, sensitive, distinctive souls which can bring those out that others can’t imagine.
The Prelude: There are books that accompany the writers, what is the most influential book of your life, and why, and what does this book mean to you? Who is the author, what about that book?
Nigar: There are so many good books, but if we are talking about one which influenced me more is “Alchemist “has written by Paulo Coelho. There is such a perfect sentence in that book which I never forget: “If you really want something, all the universe will help you to catch that”. This book helped me not to fall in a depression and believe in the miracles of the universe, taught never stop on the way of any aim.
The Prelude: What is the impact of reading in your life, and what change did the books make?
Nigar Arif: Reading books firstly helps you to express yourself well, because it gives you a large word balance that you can use to be more understandable. On the other hand, it gives you knowledge about different things, it doesn’t matter if it is about the exact topic, or life, or something else, you learn definitely anything from every book and it makes you more experienced, generally books boost your world horizons. You know what I do? When I feel anxious, no idea what to do, or if I have any trouble in my life and I need some advice, I go to the book shop and choose a book which attracts me, then I start reading, guess what happens?! I definitely find the answers of my questions there for the situation that I have that time… Even if I don’t go to the book shop, the book which finds me (it can be given by someone at that time, or I can decide to read a book which I delayed reading before) I believe that the answer of my questions are hidden there.
The Prelude: What is your suggestion to improve and develop the cultural relation between Pakistani and Azerbaijani people?
Nigar Arif: It would be better if we had more events, exhibitions and cultural festivals together and have more translations from each other’s.
The Prelude: Some of your poems translated into many languages, what is the importance of the role of translation in the rapprochement between cultures?
Nigar Arif: I think culture of each country shows itself in its literary examples and by translating them, countries can get ideas about one-another and learn each other’s approaches to the same things, some of their histories, peoples. Or I can give you such analogy: We can’t be a good friend with someone by not knowing his character and now you can imagine those writing examples like the characters of the countries. That is why translations are important.