"When Meena Chopra gazes at sunsets from the window of her Mississauga home, she's transported back to her childhood in northern India. For the internationally acclaimed poet and artist, it's inspiration that has filled countless pages and canvases with colourful words and images".
-Toronto Star, Jim Wilkes Aug 09 2010
Hindi poet connects cultures - “I consider Meena not only a poet and an artist, but a bridge-builder,” said Navdeep Bains of Chopra, who came to Canada in 2004 from her native Nainital, in northern India.
“She does not recognize any borders – her experiences are universal,” agreed Suman K. Ghai, a longtime friend and co-founder of the Hindi Writers Guild. Ghai translated Chopra’s poems into English for her second collection, subah kaa suuraj ab mera nahii.n hai (Adieu to the Dawn), which was released on Sunday.
As well known in art circles for her painting as her poetry – she often combines the two – Chopra’s work focuses on the natural and abstractly emotional, showcasing a humanistic philosophy she also applies to her personal life.
-The Mississauga News, J.P. Antonacci|Mar 01, 2010
"Chopra shines in art and poetry - Coming to Canada from her native India, artist and poet Meena Chopra’s search for meaning has taken her far beyond home and finding her new identity in Canada."
-The Mississauga News|Feb 28, 2010
"Each one of the forty expressions picturise a lived reality, an experienced emotion, a missed heartbeat without being sentimental about it. Nothing comes as after thought or an overstatement. She is precise and matter of fact even in articulations …"..
- Suresh Kohli (on "Ignited Lines")The Hindu, Delhi, 1.12 1996
"Meena Chopra will not have too many words getting in between the ignition of an idea and its consummation. It must be having to do with the fact that she also paints. Her poems have neat compactness of paintings; words become colours that fill up the canvas if-or when she is not using her brush.
Ignited Lines, Meena’s first volume of verse, is therefore not for the gallery; rather, it is a gallery. You can browse through it, but you will periodically pause, much like when confronted with a new painting that has succeeded in achieving the different, a range and depth of emotions far removed from the every day clichés of existential dilemmas, not existence. She unveils shimmering facets of love, possession, mind and self with sensitivity. She is delicate but strong, gentle yet sharp, vulnerable yet proud. Self-actualization is more a matter of routine than effort; it is the moment beyond the ones of self knowledge that she wants to live up to, and become, not a mere rhapsody in search of life but a rhapsody in search of the deeper self. In this sense she is her own Sun, her own guiding star as is brightly revealed in the poem ‘Fire’.
- Gautam Siddharth— The Pioneer (Book reviews), Delhi, (India) 28.9.1996
“These poems talk of ‘hidden fire/rising with/a smokey thread…..’ A seemingly ordinary enough statement, it might also mirror the extraordinary sensibility of a committed artist.
-Adrian Khare Blitz, Bombay, India 13.3 1993
“...by one who is also an artist, a painter, provides perhaps an alternative and additional medium of self expression to a surcharged personality. It is the story of a soul that is caught in the throes of trying to unravel the mystery of the self in terms of subjective experience. “
- Dr. Shalini Sikka, The Weekend Observer (Review) Delhi(India) January 4 1997
"A characteristic of her style is that physical sensations beautifully blend with abstract thought – yearning for fulfillment is attended upon by consciousness of fragmentation.”
- Dr. Shalini Sikka The Quest, Ranchi (India) 1996)
"Ignited Lines, a collection of poems by Meena Chopra, expresses desire for ignition of the mind for illumination in a world of duality and paradoxes.”
- Dr. Shalini Sikka The Journal Of The Poetry Society (India), 1996
“Images have been made use of in abundance while expressing her feelings, thoughts and views .... The poems are short but very powerful and impressive indeed! Meena strikes with force to show her caliber of thinking which is on par with any Indian modern poet who is of great repute.”
- M. Fakhruddin, Poets International, Banglore, (India) December 1996
"Her works are the rhythmic expression of the state of the subconscious. “Sparkling vacuum that glimmers and floats in the morning breeze….” or “A chilly winter blossoming in spring…”
- Soumik Mukhopadhyaya -The Statesman, Delhi, (India) 20th August 1999
Her canvasses have fluid grace and character that is reflected in her persona too. Her paintings are as intense as the poetry she writes”.
-Anshu Khanna Savvy (India) 1992
As for Chopra, her art is, “my search for the moments beyond the ones of self knowledge” and an “intense” exploration of her “origin and ultimate identity.”
- Chris Clay Mississauga News 17th March 2016
“The embryonic bond that she shares with nature forms the keynote of her work. My feet stick to the damp earth / Fearing devastation / My mouth is full of clay / Is it the smell of the soil that I eat?/ Swallowing every bit. Words freeze the impalpable fears finding their refuge in the womb of earth. And the pastels accompanying the words, capture the anonymous smell in a tensile cage that bears the colour of earth. The other elements of nature find beautiful expressions in her works. Swirling flames of orange recalling to protecting warmth and destroying the fury of fire. Ice blue serenity of water… And most of all, it is the interaction with her own self that gets portrayed in her works.”
- Critic First City, Delhi, (India) August 1999
"Accompanying her paintings are her verses, and the two compliment each other. In Fact, they often seem to flow from and into each other, making one wonder which came first, the word or the image. The heightened passionate quality of her verses imbues the images with a strong emotional power.”
-Manisha Vardhan The Pioneer, New Delhi(India) August 11 1999
“One notices a rhythm of universal duality underlying her poetry as well as her paintings. The poems strong in imagery and spontaneity complement the paintings”
- Critic First City Magazine, January 1997
“What ever the reason, there is no doubt that this lady packs a lot of talent. To be a mistress of words and lines is no means a feat by any standards.”
- Critic Financial Express July 21 1996
“What adds to her talent is the beautiful poetry she writes ….. Her verses at times influence her paintings and vice versa.”
- Akshaya Mukul The Pioneer, Delhi, India, June 13, 1996
“Paintings and poems by Meena Chopra at the Jehangir Art Gallery, turned out to be a veritable feast to the eyes as one drifts from spasms of energy thrust into the portrait to the lovely exterior.
- Venkastesh Raghavan Free Press Journal , Bombay, India 11th March 1993
“The book ‘Ignited Lines’ thus presents a deep insight into the inner passages of delicate human emotions and inner meanings .... It is a beautiful example of simplicity and feeling embedded together, obviously by a very talented writer.. The poems, on the whole are charming pieces of more finished art which have surpassed the realms of literature because of embellishingly philosophizing of the subject”
- A.H. Naqawi Day After (Book Review), Delhi, (India) 30th Sept.-14thOct. 1996
“Meena Chopra’s poetry mirrors her acute sensibilities which, in turn, enmesh with her deft strokes on canvas.”
- S. Rajoo The Times of India, Delhi, 23. 7. 1996
“In paintings there is a poetic beauty and poems are strong in imagery and spontaneity. And both types of work are intense in movement”
- Deshbandhu Singh Rashtriya Sahara, Delhi, (India) August 1996
“Accompanying the cluster of these lovely oil pastels worked out like ’two inches of ivory’ are her versus. The words and the visuals support each other and the viewer is taken on to a journey to the end of the clouds. Look at her art or read her poetry there is a feeling of scaling heights, going to the mist of the mountains and scenting the fragrant pines.”
-Nirupama Dutt, Indian Express (India), August 22 1999
"कविता की भाषा में उनके संग्रह की असंलक्ष्य क्रम व्यंग्यध्वनि पढ़ने वाले को, अगर सचमुच वह सहृदय भावुक है, तो उसे एकाएक कौंधेगा कि यह कवयित्री व्यंजना के सहारे कितनी मार्मिक बात कह रही है और उसके भीतर की करुणा का आकाश कितनी दूर तक भासमान है। असल में आँखों से दीख पड़ने वाले आकाश से कहीं बड़ा और अपरिमेय है बंद आँखों का आकाश।”
"उनकी कविताएं परिपक्व कविता का ठोस नमूना हैं जो जीवन में संबन्धों को नई व्याख्या देती हैं। विदेशों में रची जा रही कविताओं में मीना चोपड़ा की कविताओं का स्थान विशिष्ट माना जाएगा।"
- तेजेन्द्र शर्मा
“مینا کے رنگ کینو س پر بکھر تے ہیں تو شا عری کر تے ہیں اور جب وہ شا عری کر تی ہے تو دھنک کے رنگ اس کی شا عری کے کینوس پر بکھر جا تے ہیں- مینا کی رو ح فطر ت کے حسن سے جڑی ہو ئ ہے اور جب اسکا حسا س دل اور سو چتی آ نکھیں ان منا ظر سے گزر تے ہیں تو عشق کے آ وے پر ا حسا س کی مور تیا ں ڈ ھا لتے ہا تھ جلتے ہو ئے چر ا غو ں جیسی نظمیں قطا ر در قطا ر سجا تے چلے جا تے ہیں"
(Meena Chopra ek shaiira he nahen artist bhe hy iis leye shayad jb iis ky rang canvas per bikharte hen to rang shaiire kerte hen aur jab woh shaiire ker te hy to dhanak ke rang us ke shaiire ky canvas per bikhar jate heN. Meena ki rooh fitrat ky husn sy juree hoE hy aur jab eska hassas dil aur soochte ankheen iin manazir sy guzar te heN to ishq ke aaway per ehssas ke morteyaN dhaltee hath jalty hoE charagon jise nazmeen qatar der qatar sajate chalee jate heN....Nasim Syed)
…for she does succeed to a remarable extent in self-expression. Her thoughts, aspirations struggle and internal conflicts find faithful reflection in her works”.
-V.V. Prasad MID-DAY (India) December 9, 1986
Clippings from Reviews Published Over the Years