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Review: Bones Will Crow, ed. ko ko thett and James Byrne

I confess it hadn't been part of my world view to think of contemporary Burmese poets, but here some of them are, living in Rangoon or elsewhere, one poet, for instance, Ko Ko Thett, left Burma after being detained for a while after the student uprising in 1996, and lives in Vienna.

I don't recall seeing a more (to my eyes) strangely written language; such that translation seems a wondrous thing indeed, and some words (there is a glossary) are transliterated, for reasons of meaning rather than orthography.

Another PhD study might take on the emergence of women as published poets - or as poets at all - still recent in some countries. Such a study might be applied to all three of these Arc books. So I shall choose extracts from poems by women, and from Burma (b.1973) Eaindra, a few lines from a longish poem called Lily, where the name occurs again and again, here from midway (note that the ellipses are in the original),

With cloudberry lips, Lily serves...
Lily's nonchalant smile pierces their stares, Lily serves...

Lily knifes words with her gabble, Lily serves...
Lily wants to flow in their arteries, Lily serves...