In “Love Poem for Toronto/Tkaronto” the poet Archna Sahni who has been living in India for the past 8 years due to personal circumstances, longs to return to her Beloved City of Toronto/Tkaronto where she underwent a radical spiritual transformation, and celebrates it as the “meeting place” of humanity, viewing it as leading the way for the rest of the world. The video poem envisions Toronto as a metaphor for the evolution of a human culture based on peaceful and joyful coexistence of diverse populations into which is integrated justice to First Nations or indigenous people of the world underpinned by the recognition of the divine feminine as a living force in the universe.
A Spiritual Autobiography: “Love Poem for Toronto/Tkaronto” is Archna Sahni’s first video poem. In her own words: ‘This work is for me more than a poem, video, or video poem. It is the culmination of a lifelong spiritual quest, my spiritual autobiography, as well as an instance of ‘spiritual art.’ This poem was written ‘through’ me rather than by me, in a spontaneous and ongoing kundalini re-awakening in August 2020 amidst an ongoing six year personal crisis, which the writing of the poem also resolved, clarifying in the process my future path, both as artist and spiritual practitioner. This work is my testimony to the working of divine grace, the existence of the divine feminine, the resilience of the human spirit, and the transformative power of spiritually-inspired art.’ Kundalini is the primordial life force or divine feminine energy located at the base of the spine. This energy, once awakened, travels up the various energy ‘chakras’ or energy centers of the body and into the crown chakra where higher consciousness is triggered. A spontaneous kundalini awakening signifies the acceleration of spiritual evolution.
About the Poet and Director:
Archna Sahni is a poet from Toronto, Canada, who has been living in India for the past 8 years. She is the author of First Fire (Calicut, India: Yeti, 2005) and Another Nirvana (Toronto: Mawenzi, 2018), and a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. These days she is compiling a collection of her mystical poetry, and concurrently working on another manuscript which explores her relationship with aboriginal Canada. In her other avatar as Life and Spirituality Coach Archna supports persons through transition and conflict, reinvention of self, and in the area of spiritual development and awakening. She has been published widely in literary magazines and poetry anthologies, and performed her work live and virtually across Canada, USA and India. She was awarded the inaugural Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize (India), and received Honorable Mention for the E.J. Pratt Medal and Prize in Poetry (University of Toronto, Canada). She holds a PhD in English Literature and Cultural Studies from Punjab University (India) and an MEd in Adult Education from University of Toronto. She has presented and published papers in areas such as education, postcolonial writing, Tibetan poetry in English, women in the Mahabharata, women’s spirituality, and has taught both in Canada and India.