The Love Poems of Daniel Nanavati

by | Mar 16, 2024 | Author | 0 comments

Writing poetry, even wanting to write poetry, is often associated with the wish to put emotions onto a page.

Some people will have emotions that extend beyond one page while others manage three lines which take them weeks to complete. A few poets are not born but in many ways made, and I am one such and regretful to Readers Magnet for offering me this platform to talk about work I rarely mention, “The Love Poems of Daniel Nanavati”.

My mother Shänne Sands is a poet and writing and speaking ones work were part of my upbringing. At 4 years old I was tapping away at her typewriter and at 6 years old she gave me a child’s book, black cover with a red spine, in which to put all my poems. I still remember some of them. I might even have the rough drafts I wrote in pencil before copying them carefully onto the lines of the pages in ink.

It’s not surprising then, that I wrote two sonnets at school when I was 18 almost as if they were waiting to be written.

The sonnet form, as such, was useful to me as demanding concision and concentration but the demands of the metre were not always good for me as they sounded archaic. So I broke away from it. My first love poem was written as a parent for a child, which I duly sent up to a magazine and they wanted the world rights to it for £6. I dutifully declined.

Then at a dinner party with artist friends my mother, as they talked about art, said I wrote poems. Up to that time I never spoke about my work as I consider my mother – who has been reviewed as one of the greatest contemporary voices in English and the link between the Romantics and the Moderns – to be the poet. But one of the artists was creating a millennium book about one single beech tree to be painted every month of the year and she asked if I would write a poem to each painting.

My love of trees was my second series of poems and they were followed by love of nature. Love of the creative universe, love of life and finally, love of a woman.

I should say here that by 1999 I had had two agents but never been taken as a writer in the UK and had been looking after my mother as her companion and bulwark against poverty, loneliness and the vicissitudes of modern living for many years and was unmarried.

I had written love poems to women in the past but never shown it to them but then I met CK and we had a meeting of minds. The poems I wrote for her I sent her and she was kind enough to tell me she would treasure the fact that she was the first woman I wrote a poem for other than my mother.

Eventually it occurred to me that love in so many forms might be the basis for a book and I asked another artist friend if he would give me 4 or 5 classic nude studies to go with the text.

He took photographs in black and white for each poem and I still remember my friends looking at them and going ‘no, no, no’ … but we managed to choose 6 that would go into the book. One of my friends even posed for one photograph and she said he never did things like that but she loved the work.

So the work is about love, in all its forms. Written for friends, many of whom I still have to go and meet, and for my mother over many years celebrating her love of gardens, our love of nature and the very nature of life itself.

The work is published by FootSteps Press a venture involving writers and artists around the world but mostly in Cornwall, to bring beautifully designed books to public notice.

The Love Poems are but one part of our poetry publications. Our children’s books and art books are well conceived and in general receive 3.8-4.4 stars in reviews. I’ll continue writing poems but the death of my mother did make them very sad. I don’t want them to be sad.

I would like my poems, for whatever they are, to be uplifting and joyous because for all the heavy emotions of poets down the ages, it is their honesty that accompanies my mind. They are like lighthouses reminding me of my childhood and if any of my words achieve the accolade of a beacon in the chaos of living, then in my small way I have been part of one of the finest intellectual arts of the human mind: poetry.


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