Monday, March 1, 2021






MARCH 2021

APRILIA ZANK: According to the American poet Robert Frost, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Can, in your opinion, all thoughts be 'translated' into words?


LILLA LATUS: I wish they were but I realize that it is possible only to some extent. We – poets - create the unique world in which readers can find something which has been subconsciously sensed but impossible to be expressed in other way. I believe that the rich world of words has the power to uncover those hidden thoughts. Maybe a poem is a bold attempt to “translate” thoughts into words. 



APRILIA ZANK: The English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once wrote: “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” Can you explain how poetry unveils the hidden beauty of the world?


LILLA LATUS: Unveiling that hidden beauty is both challenging and difficult. Wisława Szymborska – a Polish poetess, Nobel Prize winner in 1996 – wrote “We're extremely fortunate not to know precisely the kind of world we live in”.  So its beauty is also something mysterious. Maybe we – poets – should just do our best to write as well as we can. This is the only way to show what a wonderful world it is.



APRILIA ZANK: The American poet of English origin W. H. Auden was convinced that, “A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.” Do you think that poetic language should always be refined and cultivated, or may it also be rough and raw if necessary?


LILLA LATUS: Polish language is so rich, varied and offers so many possibilities to express different emotions, views. My mother’s tongue is my homeland. We can describe the world, feelings using both refined and raw language It’s our right and chance as well. Of course, the context should justify the choice of words.



APRILIA ZANK: Please consider the following statement of the English scholar and poet A. E. Housman: “Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out... Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.” Do you write or prefer explicit poetry with an obvious meaning or message, or rather more cryptic, challenging poetry?


LILLA LATUS: I love ambiguities, complexity in poetry. It requires from the reader some effort but – on the other hand - it enables to understand the poem in a special, individual way. I hope it doesn’t exclude pleasure of taking great delight in reading poetry. Discovering the deepest meaning, searching for the gist can bring a real satisfaction and often takes readers by surprise.



APRILIA ZANK: “Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.”, is a famous quote by the German romanticist and philosopher Novalis. To what extent can poetry have a therapeutic effect?


LILLA LATUS: Poetry can be therapeutic both for the poets themselves and for its readers. I have even some theory - poets are usually cheerful people because they write sad poems. Maybe it is a bit far-fetched but as far as I know it applies to many artists, people who create artworks with their own blood, soul and heart. Art can’t heal wounds but it can make them less painful.



APRILIA ZANK: According to Salvatore Quasimodo, an Italian poet and literary critic, “Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.” Is, in your opinion, the poet primarily a personal voice, or rather the echo of his fellow beings?


LILLA LATUS: I wonder if it is possible to distinguish clearly between the personal voice and the echo. The Polish poet – Czesław Miłosz, Nobel Prize winner in 1980 – believed that a special deity, daimonion, chooses a poet and in inner whispers dictates poems. I want to be original, to show something new, personal but we are made up of different experiences and maybe it is impossible to draw the distinctive line between this what is really mine and that what influences me. It is great when the reader recognizes the vibes of the poem as his own.



APRILIA ZANK: The American literary critic M. H. Abrams asserted that, “If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means, you have missed the body of the poem.” Do you also think readers need to be educated as to how to go through a poem? If 'yes', in which way?


LILLA LATUS: It depends on what kind education we mean – this academic, scholar or that one arising from individual sensitivity which has nothing to do with formal education. I believe in the power of erudition but it can be gained in different ways. Of course, well–read reader is more likely to understand some metaphors and references but the readiness and willingness to “absorb” the poem can’t be neglected.



APRILIA ZANK: Let us now consider the words of the American songwriter and poet Jim Morisson: “If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it's to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.” Can you please tell us how poetry can be/become educational?


LILLA LATUS: In my experience, poetry can broaden minds, improve perception and consequently “deliver people from the limited ways”. I try to tell in my poems about philosophy, history, literature but those themes are used to convey something emotionally personal. The content is merely the tool to make the reader see the subject from a different angle, in a new light. Besides, reading poetry may result in arousing an interest for looking up some new notions, terms.



APRILIA ZANK: The British-American poet T. S. Eliot claimed that, “Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” Do you sometimes/often experience 'love at first sight' for poems that you have not understood immediately/completely?


LILLA LATUS: Sure! That weird flash may appear all of a sudden. The enchantment can be compared to love at first sight. Moreover, it has nothing to do with the academic value of the poem. It is a question of the right moment, feeling that it applies to you very much, touching some fragile and soft part inside. I hope that “communication” mentioned by T.S. Eliot still works.



APRILIA ZANK: Paul Valéry, a French poet, essayist, and philosopher, said: “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” Do you also think that the final 'embodiment' of a poem happens in the mind of the reader?


LILLA LATUS: It is likely to happen. Surprisingly, it applies also to poems with the clear, final punch line. But a poem is something open, not closed and it should allow to have “to be continued” option letting the reader accomplish it with his own sensitivity, creativity.



APRILIA ZANK: The famous British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie believes that, “A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.” Should, in your opinion, poetry have a strong social and/or militant component?


LILLA LATUS: I don’t think it’s a main goal of poetry but it can’t be excluded. Some poets whisper, others shout raising different issues, playing various strings. Anyway, we – poets – can make waves.



APRILIA ZANK: The poetic credo of the highly influential American poet Maya Angelou was the following: “The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you - black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.” Do you also think that your poetry addresses a large and varied audience?


LILLA LATUS: Hope so. I believe in the strength and power of words. We – people – have a lot in common. A poem is a kind of meeting and shaking hands. I want to give hope, new perspective, brighter light and everybody can be my soulmate.


LILLA LATUS (Poland) - poetess, translator, author of reviews, essays, song lyrics, articles about travelling. Many times awarded both for her poetry and engagement in cultural activity for local community. Published nine books of poems. Her poetry has been published in many magazines and anthologies, also in USA, Australia, India, The Czech Republic, Italy, Albania, etc.


Dr. APRILIA ZANK is an educationist, freelance lecturer for Creative Writing and Translation Theory, as well as a multilingual poet, translator, editor from Munich, Germany and an Author of the Poetry book BAREFOOT TO ARCADIA. Born in Romania, she studied English and French Literature and Linguistics at the University of Bucharest, and then moved to Munich, Germany where she received her PhD degree in Literature and Psycholinguistics for her thesis, THE WORD IN THE WORD Literary Text Reception and Linguistic Relativity, from the Ludwig Maximilian University, where she started her teaching career. The research for her PhD thesis was done in collaboration with six universities from Europe, and as a visiting lecturer at Alberta University of Edmonton, Canada. Dr Aprilia writes verses in English and German, French and Romanian and was awarded a distinction at the “Vera Piller” Poetry Contest in Zurich. Her poetry collection, TERMINUS ARCADIA, was 2nd Place Winner at the Twowolvz Press Poetry Chapbook Contest 2013. In 2018, she was awarded the title “Dr. Aprilia Zank – Germany Beat Poet Laureate”, by the National Beat Poetry Foundation (USA). She has been an acclaimed guest at cultural events in Germany, Great Britain, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and Romania, where she read her poems, delivered lectures on various topics. Her poems and articles are published in many ezines and Anthologies of different countries.




  1. Wow---What an intellectually stimulating interview !I was engrossed in reading from start to finish.Heartiest congratulations to Lilla Latus for her insightful views on poetry and Dr.Arpilla Zank for the great questions !