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How Abraham Abandoned Me

by Bejan Matur

Bilingual English / Turkish edition

Translated by Ruth Christie with Selçuk Berilgen
Introduced by Ruth Christie

Part of our Arc Translations series edited by Jean Boase-Beier

This collection covers the broad vision of mankind's history with a story of an individual journey, in the course of which the poet explores the cosmic and the microcosm, the immensities of Time and Space, of becoming and Being. The poems came during a pilgrimage in south-eastern Anatolia. Matur has created a personalised iconography based on Islamic references and imagery, presenting complex ideas with a simplicity of expression that is perfectly mirrored in Ruth Christie's translation.

... the exquisite and intensely felt poems of Bejan Matur.

Orhan Pamuk

Bejan Matur can best be compared with a mighty river that steadfastly carves its way through foreboding terrains. Her particular wilderness is the nature of existence for humankind and the planet. In this collection, as she undertakes an odyssey on the human condition, she poses, with passionate cris de cœur, questions that appear unanswerable. But Matur, speaking with the voice of our Ethical Selves, submits that the questions do have an answer, indeed a specific answer: the transformation of beings with stone-hearts into beings that have finally nurtured hearts that have consciences. Matur's imperative for altruism and compassion raises this work to an epic paean of all-embracing love.

Moris Farhi

Impossible to describe her poetry in prose. Its verbs have no tense, its prepositions are like nouns, its own nouns are cries. Its aim is to outwit nonsense by outflanking it. It does so, it succeeds. Once everything was everything and so nothing existed. This nothing then broke into fragments, into shards which were real. And on these existent shards were written obscure phrases, which she, the poet, today transcribes. The reader does not follow word by word, but hand in hand, to touch and recognise piece after piece in the dark.

John Berger

978-1906570-00-2 (pbk)
978-1906570-01-9 (hbk)
Published July 2012

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