SONGSOPTOK:  Do  you think literature or poetry is really essential in our life? If so why?
GITA  ASSEFI: I think literature and poetry play a vital role in todays’ life from many aspects. Being part of a modern, hectic life, brings the necessity to work long hours and have little time to socialise and interact.Thus, reading takes us to unknown lands , let us meet different cultures and different traditions as well as prepare us for a journey to make sense of human soul. This way it broadens our image of the world in which we are living as well as enable us to tackle with our daily problems, but more than anything, makes us be more humane.

SONGSOPTOK:  How does it relate to the general history of mankind?
GITA  ASSEFI: Literature guides us through history. Makes us learn about epics, sacred scriptures, writings of the scholars and poets of that time. We get the sense of their social pathern, language and culture through literature and works like a mirror for us to observe and analyse what was good and bad in the past compared to the modern time.

 SONGSOPTOK: Our readers would like to know your own personal experience regarding the importance of literature and poetry in your life.
GITA  ASSEFI: I was so lucky to be the daughter of a father who had a huge library with a variety of famous classical novels. I remember probing through the books with such an appetite and every one of them was a new mystery and a new discovery for me. Now, as an English teacher, I am mesmerised by words and their magical combinations. I am an admin to two poetry sites and almost everyday I read a lot of thrilling poems. I am from an Iranian origin with a Turkish citizenship and I have lived in Russia and France for a period in my life. Nature and music and paintings are the three muses that have immensly inspired me as well as being exposed to different cultures. Overall, I find poetry and literature so soothing and when ı read, I feel I am part of love, friendship and peace and loneliness completely disappears.

SONGSOPTOK:  Who were your favorite writers during the early period of your life? And how they have paved your early routes in literature?
GITA  ASSEFI: Classical novels have played a major role in shaping my ideas in my writings. I was so much inspired by writers such as Tolestoy (Anna Karenina), Margaret Mitchell, (Gone with the Wind), Jane Austin (Pride and Prejudice) and Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights) as well as poets such as Robert Frost, Emily Dikenson and William Blake. Recently, I watched the life of the poet Sylvia plath and her life together with her poems have influenced me to a great deal.

 SONGSOPTOK:  Now coming back to the present time, do you think people in general actually bother about literature in general?  Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?
GITA  ASSEFI: My answer to this question would be both yes and no. We have become too mechanical because of rapid developement in technology and the rise in the number of things that distract us  so I can see a society who is more busy watching TV series, playing computer games and squandering money to compete in social events as well as a large group of people who read poetry and follow literary works closely. So we have both groups.

SONGSOPTOK:  Now if we try to understand the tradition and modernism, do you think literature can play a pivotal role in it?  If so, how?
GITA  ASSEFI:  Yes, definitely literature is the key to portray all aspects of tradition and modernism. It works like a magnifying glass and we can see all sides in it and it’s up to us to discover, learn and change.

SONGSOPTOK:  Again how can an individual writer relates himself or herself with the tradition and modernism?
GITA  ASSEFI:  We can’t separate ourselves from our traditions as they are part of our identity just as we can’t separate ourselves from the new ideas and changes and improvements. I think traditions are magical, precious stones that paves the way to walk into modernizations with a better insight and understanding.

SONG SOPTOK: Do you think society as a whole, is the key factor in shaping you up as a poet, or your poetry altogether?
GITA  ASSEFI:  We are part of the society in which we live so we cant be free from their impact on our way of thought and approach as a poet. I think every little interaction can create great stories and what’s important is that we as poets should be well equipped to drive out the problems and the privileges we have within a society instead of blindly following the suit.

SONGSOPTOK:  Coming to the present time, how does politics in general influence you in your writings?
GITA  ASSEFI: Politics in general doesn’t attract me as I find it too mathematical and devoid of feelings. I am a person of heart and seeing the unfairness and brutality going on in our world utterly affects me, but I can’t be completly away  from it as I know that its the duty of every one of us to raise awareness and promote peace. I am so optimistic in thinking that oneday people of heart will rule our world.

SONGSOPTOK? :  Are you  feminist? Can literature play any decisive role in feminism at all?
GITA  ASSEFI: I am a humanist more than being a feminist but I am for woman’s rights and I am against the brutality that is practiced against women. As a woman, I am aware of my gendres’ problems and I believe poetry and literature will help the two gendres to understand and respect each other better.

SONGSOPTOK: Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of  their nationality and  is it an incentive or an obstacle for becoming a truly international writer?
GITA  ASSEFI: I think nationality is an incentive for becoming an international writer. I was  born in Iran and I lived through revolution, war and separation. Later on in my life, I had the opportunity to travel and see the world and I think every nation has its own rich, cultural ingredients and having these flavours in your literary work definitly adds up to its taste once imparted with the world.

SONGSOPTOK:  What role can literature play to make our lives better on a day to day basis?
GITA ASSEFI: Literature heals wounds. It brings self realization and a a better understanding of the world we live in. It sheds light on our doubts and mind boggling questions. It makes us learn and as we learn, to grow. It definitly makes us a better person. A person who thinks of others more than self and this brings an immense happiness.


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