Mohammed Erfun Amin is a young Rohingya trilingual Poet, Writer, and Author from Myanmar. Some people call him the “First Rohingya Haiku Poet from Arakan”. He is a Rokhine Muslim, a minority group in Myanmar that has been subjected to persecution, violence, and displacement. He has written four poetry books, including ” Miracles of Nature in 2020″and Harvest of Dew in 2021″ , A Memoir of Love Between Two Refugees in 2022, and the plight of Rohingya in 2023, which explore themes of identity, nature, love moments of the Rohingya people, genocide, displacement, and struggle. Despite facing many challenges and obstacles, he continues to write and to advocate for the right of people.
Q1:What inspired you to start writing poetry?
Ans: In 2017, we, Rohingya, fled here in Bangladesh to save our lives from war. Fleeing persecution, I found solace in words. Amidst pain and uncertainty of losing homeland, poetry became my voice, a way to hold onto hope. The verses flowed, expressing my longing for a better life, my resilience, and the strength of my community. Each line carried the weight of my journey, a testament to the power of human spirit against adversity.
Q2: Who are some of your favorite poets? Why do you like their work?
Ans: As a Rohingya refugee survivor, poetry offers me solace. Rumi’s wisdom heals my soul. Langston Hughes’ words resonate with struggle. Maya Angelou empowers, reminding me of resilience amid adversity.
Q3: What is your favorite poem and why?
Ans: There’re a lot of poems which I like. Among them, my favorite poems are ‘And Still I Rise’ written by Maya Angelou as it empowers with resilience and overcoming adversity, and ‘When I Die’ written by Rumi as it is appreciated for its profound reflections on mortality and spirituality.
Q4: Do you consider yourself primarily a poet, or do you write in other genres?
Ans: Yes, I consider myself primarily a poet. I write in various genres, not limited to poetry. My words flow to express the pain and hope of Rohingya refugee survivors, weaving stories that echo the journey and resilience of my people.
Q5: What’s the best advice someone has given you about writing poetry?
Ans: “The best advice for writing poetry is to be authentic and express your emotions honestly. Use vivid imagery, sensory details, and metaphors to create a strong emotional impact. Play with words, rhythm, and structure to evoke the desired emotions in your readers. Remember that practice and revision are essential to refine your craft and create impactful poetry. Once Richard Ford said, ‘Reading is probably what leads most writers to writing’.” adviced Mark Redferan.
Q6: Do you think poetry is still relevant in today’s society? Why or why not?
Ans: Yes, poetry is still relevant in today’s society because it captures emotions concisely, fosters introspection, and addresses contemporary issues. Through brevity, it resonates deeply, making it a timeless form of expression. Once I wrote ‘A man who doesn’t know about the true essence poetry is yet unborn’.
Q7: What advice would you give to someone who wants to write poetry but doesn’t know where to start?
Ans: Writing poetry is not a rocket science you know. Just begin with your heart’s whispers, paint emotions in words, embrace vulnerability, let thoughts flow. Write without judgment, revise with care. Poetry is your canvas; creativity, your guide.
Q8: What is your process for writing a poem?
Ans: My process for writing a poem is that I gather thoughts, feelings, weave words, emotions bloom, crafting lines, rhythms flow, a symphony of verses, then finally a poem born.
Q9: What poetic devices do you often use in your poetry?
Ans: I often use various poetic devices in my poetry, including metaphors, similes, alliteration, rhyme, imagery, and personification. These techniques help create vivid and evocative language that adds depth and emotion to the poems. As well as I am a Haikuist, I use juxtaposition in my haiku or senryu.
Q10: How do you know when a poem is finished?
Ans: I feel a poem is finished when it effectively conveys the intended emotions or message.
Q11: What do you think is the most important element of a good poem?
Ans: The most important element of a good poem is often its ability to evoke emotions and provoke thoughts, or imagery in a unique and impactful way.