A selection of poems and essays drawn from Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry edited by Murat Nemet-Nejat, published by Talisman House, New Jersey, and available through Small Press Distribution. “Thinking, speaking in Turkish is a peculiarly visceral activity, a record of thought emerging … Eda is the play of ideas through the body of Turkish. Not only is it the poetics of Turkish poetry in [the twentieth] century, it is the extension of the language itself, the flowering of its inherent potentials as a language. The otherness of Eda is the distance which separates Turkish from English.” Read the sample of poems [»»] here.
Brian Reed (in from Seattle), Maria Damon (Minnesota), and Craig Dworkin (Utah) joined Al Filreis at the Writers House (Philadelphia) in a rare and — we think — rather fluid convergence of poetic minds prepped to figure out how to talk about an instance of verse bebop. The bop was Charlie Parker’s, as a model for languaged sound (by poet Clark Coolidge), and the template song was “Blues for Alice” (Coolidge’s poem uses the title), and among the possible Alices are Alice Coltrane, Alice Notley, and Alice in Wonderland.
29 At the end of first light, the wind of long ago—of betrayed trusts, of uncertain evasive duty and that other dawn in Europe—arises…
30 To leave. My heart was humming with emphatic generosities. To leave… I would arrive sleek and young in this land of mine and I would say to this land whose loam is part of my flesh: “I have wandered for a long time and I am coming back to the deserted hideousness of your sores.” I would come to this land of mine and I would say to it: “Embrace me without fear… And if all I can do is speak, it is for you I shall speak.” And again I would say: “My mouth shall be the mouth of those calamities that have no mouth, my voice the freedom of those who break down in the prison holes of despair.” And on the way I would say to myself: “And above all, my body as well as my soul beware of assuming the sterile attitude of a spectator, for life is not a spectacle, a sea of miseries is not a proscenium, a man screaming is not a dancing bear…” And behold here I am come home!
That title is my favourite of the three translations I made of the title of Pascal Quignard’s poem Inter Aerias Fagos — Among Aerial Beeches, or In the Canopy of Beeches — republished in 2011 in the beautiful volume INTER, and slipped to me recently by poet Chantal Neveu. “You should write about this,” she said.