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A note from the Free Word Centre

Posted by Ruth Padel via Arc HQ, 8th November 2012

Eaindra, Htein Lin, Khin Aung Aye and Thitsar Ni
Eaindra, Htein Lin, Khin Aung Aye and Thitsar Ni

"It was an honour to read translations of Eaindra's moving and powerful poems at SOAS the other night, and to hear both her and Thitsar Ni read.

The publication, in English, of poems which kept being written through decades when an apparently unmeltable ice sheet of silence, censorship, fear and repression lay over the whole country of Burma, is a testament to the power of poetry, to the universal need for the "free words" of poetry, and to the bravery and imagination of the individual poets.

As Portia says in The Merchant of Venice:

How far that little candle throws his beams.
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

In our own dark world, the work of Thitsar Ni, Eaindra, and their colleagues - and of their poet-translators - should be celebrated everywhere."

A note from Ruth Padel to the final event on the Burmese tour at the Free Word Centre 31st October 2012

And below is photographer Craig Ritchie's contribution to the FWC event: a wonderful slideshow from his photos and quotes from Bones Will Crow