Monday, August 6, 2018


This week, we are flying to a Malaysian rainforest in Kuala Lumpur, to visit the popular Sanaa Rizvi, who blogs at A Dash of Sunny. Sanaa is sharing a few photos of the spectacular landscape she is blessed to live in, along with some wonderful poems. She even sings us a song! So draw your chairs in close. Let's dive in.

Sherry: Our last chat with you was in 2016. Would you bring us up to date? I know Pakistan is home, but I understand you moved to Kuala Lumpur since our last chat. How is life there? It looks so beautiful!

Sanaa: It's 2018 and life has brought me to Kuala Lumpur, a place which is known to be a nature lover's paradise. It consists of one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, particularly its rainforests and coral reefs. The country is home to many rare species including tapirs, pangolins, orang-utans, tigers and rhinos.

Life is very different here. It's equable and quiet compared to the fast paced one in Karachi, Pakistan. People here are extremely laid-back and prefer to take on life as it comes. I am currently searching for a job, so at present I am home.

There is so much to see here, Sherry! My favorite place to visit is Cameron Highlands, which lies less than an hour off the main North-South Highway and is a pleasant 3.5-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur.

The weather here ranges from 15 to 22 degrees celsius, which proves to be a welcome change, apart from lovely little villages, and visits to butterfly, strawberry, honey bee farms and sprawling tea plantations.

Sherry: It sounds marvelous, and looks so beautiful! Wow. 

Sanaa: Another interesting place to see is Batu Caves, which is about 12 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur, in the district of Gombak. The name originates from the river of Sungai Batu, which runs alongside the hill. We arrive at the entrance via a stairway of 272 steps. These limestone caves harbour Hindu temples, where murals of mythic scenes gleam behind stalactites, bats flutter in the shadows, and monkeys prey on tourists. I should know, I had one following me on the rail of the steps!

Sherry: So cute! But a bit nervous-making, at the same time!

Sanaa: And of course, Bukit Bintang! Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, it's a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. It's thrilling to explore and to feel the excitement in one of the city's busiest stretches, complete with skyscrapers, shopping malls and restaurants.

Sherry: It looks wonderful! So much to see and explore!

I know poetry and literature are in your family background. What do you love about poetry?

Sanaa: Poetry is nothing short of a boon, a gift. It's a medium of expression, of sharing our deepest emotions, and things which we normally don't in conversation. What I love most about poetry is that it uncovers a side of me which I never knew existed. And what's amusing is that I could never write a simple essay in school and college, and yet here I am, learning and evolving amongst fellow poets in the world of poetry.

Sherry: The wonders of online. I appreciate it so much! Do you have a favourite well known or classical poet?

Sanaa: I love Rainer Maria Rilke. His poems, 'Love Song' and 'I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone' mesmerize and stir the soul.

Sherry: Are you pleased with the growth of your work over the last few years? Has blogging impacted that growth?

Sanaa: Yes, of course! It was absolutely terrifying at first as I sought to find my footing back in 2015. I remember posting poems and hoping every time that I got it right. With time I learned that it's all right to make mistakes. We are human and are bound to make errors along the way.

I love trying new forms and remember spending hours working on them online. It helps to have studied Literature in college and university, as memories of my professor teaching us metre and rhyme scheme in class come calling.

I never thought I would write poetry, to be honest, as we only used to study the Old Masters and had no knowledge about Twentieth Century Poets. It was only when I began writing was when I discovered that I still had a lot to learn!

I find that each year my writing becomes different as I slowly learn and transition with love and support of friends.

Sherry: It has been interesting, watching your journey. What is most challenging thing, in your opinion, when it comes to writing poetry?

Sanaa: To me, the most challenging aspect of poetry is knowing how to insert line breaks. A few days ago, a friend and fellow poet taught me its significance and explained its impact on poetry. It's a beautiful way of showing and emphasising emotion.

Sherry: Would you like to share three poems with us, and tell us a little about each?

And though you appeared sweet
felt the emptiness in your eyes,
indifference is the silence that hurts 
 more than words.

I strain to hear the once beating 
heart, one that used to smile and 
tell me life’s too short. 
I see you with your face stone 
cold, swallowed the sun in attempts
to feel the warmth. I haven’t the
 time to loathe anyone.
Horizon’s a hue of gold and brown,
I watch as you wade in a purgatory
of sorts; pushing and pulling the 
other at the same time.
I wrote this one for Kerry's Camera Flash prompt at Toads and remember the way the picture spoke to me. It’s easy for one to be indifferent, to be cold and unfeeling. The words came on their own, as I sought to figure how I would respond to such a situation. Life is busy and at times complicated. I don't have time for drama, and I don't have a place in my heart for hatred. It hurts, yes, but we must find it within ourselves to forgive and forget. If one wishes to be difficult, then so be it. The best we can do is give them space and move on.

I have let too many nights pass, know
-ing not words that held their ground
in the prison of your eyes.

As coppery sun, as pouring rain you
are moments infinite, that seep into
the darkening brain.
Oh, how’s it that I failed to read even
though the message was plain?
I can hear it with my eyes closed, feel
it with ears tuned to the wind, you’re
love that lingers long after a soul has
Lately I have looked longingly at you,
deep within our heart, there’s a voice
that begs come fill my senses like the
liquid murmur of the ocean.
Won’t you whisper once, kiss the pain
I have let too many nights pass, know
-ing not words that held their ground
in the prison of your eyes.

This is one of my favorite poems. I wrote this for Susan's Midweek Motif and remember the emotions at the time that were stirring inside my heart. 'No one does love poems like you,' I have heard this from a lot of people and have been asked where I get the inspiration from. Truth is, behind every love poem there is feeling and a story connected with real life. We ask ourselves what is love? I believe love is caring. It's when you care about knowing someone more than yourself.

Dear former self
When a rosy sunset kisses the begrudging sky, 
I think about the burden you carry in
heart, oblivious of the time that lies
Before you learn what candour really is,
must look deep into the eyes of the
world. You 
must let go of preconceived
notions and be 
open to reality that longs
to elucidate.
Your life is yours alone don’t let darkness 
dictate to which you otherwise wouldn’t submit, 
before you discover what valour
is you must plunge into the depths
of desolation
 like a swirling leaf floating
calmly on water.
Sometimes when you will wonder how
things could be, remember that the best
interruptions take place in the middle
of one’s journey. You must learn to live
in the moment and restrain from worry-
ing too much about the future.
In life the hardest step we take is one 
which leads to loving ourselves. 
I can picture you
through your 
forlorn eyes and hope that one
day you’ll understand 
that everything that
happens in life ultimately shapes 
us into the
person we are meant to be.
Yours truly ~
How many times have we wished we could go back into the past and shake our former selves to their senses? This poem was written for Karin's prompt where we were asked to write poems as letters at Toads. I remember picturing my younger self and having a heart to heart conversation as I wrote the words. Before I knew it, the poem was complete.

Sherry: Thank you for sharing these wonderful poems, Sanaa.  How important is accessibility of meaning, in your opinion? Does one need to work hard to 'solve' a poem?

Sanaa:  As a poet, I tend to write a poem by choosing words that portray exactly what I am feeling or thinking at the moment. I believe poetry is similar to art. Just as people have different perspectives upon observing a painting; similarly, when people read a poem they each draw different meaning and have their own unique perspective on it. Does it matter if true meaning is unraveled? Technically, yes. But I feel it's more important if the reader has felt moved after reading my poem.

Sherry: I agree; if a reader feels moved, perhaps it doesn't matter so much if they have or haven't interpreted it exactly. Tell us about your process: Pen and paper, computer, notebooks … how do you write?

Sanaa: I prefer to write down poems on a notebook first, before posting them on my blog online.

Sherry: They say that to see the world with complete honesty, one should look to comedians, artists and poets. What do you think emerges naturally from your work?

Sanaa: Hope. I believe there should always be something to grasp and to look forward to. Even my darker poems tend to end on a positive note.

Sherry:  Do you have one poem that you almost did not post due to it being personal? Did you post it after all? If so, please tell us about it.

Sanaa: Indeed, there is Sherry. It was 'Belabouring of Hurt at Twilight.' Sometimes it's overwhelming to look at the past, as we grow older and face various situations in life. I have learned that there is no point in being too harsh upon yourself. The poem speaks about letting go of past woes and became so personal that at a point I almost decided not to post it. Then I realized that what's the point of writing poetry if we aren't allowed to unwind and share feelings from time to time. I am glad I decided to post in the end. 

Above the clouds a longing takes part, my heart
bleeds while playing with a broken branch in the
It’s hard to forgive ourselves, while clinging onto
remnants of an impossible past. The sombre sky
and languid flowers, everything’s a muted shade
like a matt photograph in a dimly lit space.
A few years ago I fell apart though in the process
of building myself back up, I learned that amidst
worldly struggles you are allowed to leave a few 
broken pieces behind, you are allowed to dream
and become the person that you design yourself
to be.
The calm crepuscular hours, I knelt and poured
my woes into a babbling brook, feeling that the
world was too much with us and yet unfamiliar.
As the last light slips away my eyes open to the
silence of the universe, I’m reminded of beauty,
of hope as the dark comes to write its chapter.
Soon cold and unfeeling rain was falling, above
the clouds a longing takes part, my heart bleeds
while playing with a broken branch in evening.

Sherry: It is always a good thing, when we write from our hearts, as you always do. I most  resonate with "you are allowed to leave a few broken pieces behind." As we all do, on this journey. A beautiful poem, Sanaa. Thank you. What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing?
Sanaa: I enjoy listening to music and spending quality time with friends.

Sherry: Your favourite place on the planet?

Sanaa: That would have to be my home town. Smiles.

Sherry: Favourite book?

Sanaa: The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho.

Sherry: Friends, Sanaa has gifted us with a song, sung  by her just for us. Enjoy!

Sherry: Thank you for this sweet song, Sanaa. And for a lovely visit. Is there anything you’d like to say to Poets United?

Sanaa: Thank you, everyone, for always being so kind and considerate, and for embracing me as part of the community. Cheers!

Sherry: And thank you for your participation at Poets United! We appreciate you!

Well, my friends, wasn't this a lovely visit? Do come back and see who we speak to next. Who knows? It might be you!


  1. My new favorite line of yours, probably because it is personal experience: "remember that the best
    interruptions take place in the middle
    of one’s journey."
    and "one step closer" o! We do love forever, I think, and "for a thousand years" expresses that. So then, what is it to die fr love? However it goes, we live for it, I hope.
    I'm so happy for this interview! Thank you Sanaa and Sherry.

    1. And thank you for your love and appreciation, Susan!πŸ’ž

  2. So nice to hear an update from you... and a very nice interview as usually.

  3. Thank you, Sanaa, for a look into your life, and your beautiful surroundings. And for the beautiful poems! Yay!

    1. Thank you so much for featuring me this week, Sherry πŸ’ž You have done such a lovely job putting our update together! I love it! Yayy!πŸ’ž

  4. Lovely to see you here Sanaa. Your is one of those blogs i visit often. Thanks for sharing your surroundings with us also
    Another winner Sherry


  5. Indeed a lovely visit and interesting to find out what a poet is doing when not writing. Sanaa always bring a touch of romance to prompts and challenges.


  6. Great to catch up with you Sanna. I really like the different words you use in your poems and your romantic poems are my favourite of all. Best wishes.

    1. Thank you so much, Vandana πŸ’ž for reading and for the warm wishes 😊

  7. This is absolutely delightful Sanaa and Sherry. I have noticed how your poetry has matured Sanaa and am quite envious. What I admire too is your enthusiasm to get involved in the world wide poetic community. It is so good to hear your voice as well.

    1. Awww thank you so much, Robin πŸ’ž so sweet of you 😊

  8. So wonderful to see you Sanaa. As I am typing I am listening to your beautiful song. Such a sweet voice! Love the breathtaking photos and your beautiful words! Another fantastic interview Sherry!

    1. Yayyy πŸ’ž thank you so much, Sumana 😊 so glad you enjoyed it.πŸ’ž

  9. What a wonderful post! Great interview, Sherry. And Sanaa: what a lovely share. A fascinating narrative/backstory and the choice of poems selected is inspired … stunning pieces. I do so enjoy your exquisitely crafted love poems, Sanaa, and the song that was included is beautiful. Great job of this, Poets.

    1. Thank you so much, Wendy πŸ’ž that's so kind of you to say so 😊

  10. Such a lovely you and your poetry...enjoyed reading this post...much love!

    1. Thank you so much, Sreeja 😊 so glad you enjoyed it πŸ’ž

  11. Another wonderful feature. Sanaa certainly has found her voice in the poetry world.

    A lovely share!

  12. What a wonderful feature, Sanaa and Sherry. Sanaa, you have grown SO much as a poet over the years I have known you. What a beautiful place you live in now! Your work does indeed make the reader feel moved. I liked the poem "Belabouring of Hurt at Twilight." Good lesson learned. How wonderful to hear you sing! Really nice to hear your voice. Smiles.

    1. Awww πŸ’ž thank you soo much, Mary! I am glad you enjoyed the interview. I wanted it to be extra special as it had been two years since the last feature 😊

  13. What a brilliant interview - it is really good to see your evolution and growth as a poet Sanaa

    1. Yayy πŸ’ž thank you so much, Jae 😊 so glad you liked it.

  14. Sanaa,

    i like your can-do spirit! (Malaysia boleh!?) I think it's alright to make mistakes when writing. come to think of it, there are really no mistakes, it is an evolution of your craft. One of the best things is to see a fellow writer evolving and growing , and finding his/her unique voice.

    You have another winner! :)

    1. Haha Malaysia boleh! Yes!πŸ’ž What a wonderful thought that is Lee San 😊 it is indeed evolution. One of the best things about writing is that one keeps growing, so glad you enjoyed the interview!πŸ’ž

  15. I'm so happy everyone enjoyed this feature. I knew you would. Smiles. Thanks so much, Sanaa.

    1. Its all thanks to you, SherryπŸ’ž I am really happy too!😊

  16. What a lovely visit, my computer has been down, and I have read part, but I will be back!!

    1. Oh! It's okay hope to see you later, Annell πŸ’ž

  17. What a delight to make it here today. I so love Sanaa's beautiful poetry, and her sweet spirit and writing is just as beautiful as the place that she lives. Thank you for another wonderful interview Sherry!

    1. Gosh thank you so much for your kind and loving words, Carrie!πŸ’ž

  18. Wow...Sanaa, your singing is amazing! And that song at the end of that post just left me both happy and with tears in my eyes. I still have the image of the broken pieces from the last poem ringing in my head. Thanks for sharing the loveliness :)

    1. AwwwπŸ’ž thank you soo much, Chrissa, so glad you enjoyed the interview!😊

  19. What a wonderful place to live in, Sanaa. So much natural beauty.

    I love that you handwrite your poetry before typing/publishing it. I hope you are saving all those notebooks. How silly of me, of course you are.

    1. OfcourseπŸ’ž I have this habit of writing down a few verses which come to mind.. it's usually the opening lines to a poem. I will hold onto that notebook as I recall your sweet words dearest Magaly 😊

  20. Sherry, I really enjoyed this update with Sanaa....Sanaa I did love the poems you chose and I agree your poems always give me hope! I am so thrilled you are living in this paradise as you wanted is heaven!

    1. Thank you so much, Donna 😊 so glad you enjoyed the interview!πŸ’ž

  21. Sanaa, your new home sounds beautiful! It must be a great inspiration for the wonderful, hope-filled poems you write. Your voice is a delicate flower. I enjoyed listening to you sing. Thank you, Sherry for this time with Sanaa.

    1. Thank you so much, Sara πŸ’ž so glad you enjoyed it 😊

  22. I've had a very busy few days, so have only now arrived here to find this lovely interview. Many thanks, Sherry, for choosing to ask Sanaa for an update. And thanks Sanaa, for sharing yourself and your poetry so generously, as indeed you always do. I too have enjoyed watching your development as a poet. You are a treasured member of our poetic family.

    1. Awww gosh!πŸ’ž Thank you so much, Rosemary 😊


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