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Review: & Silk & Love & Flame, by Birhan Keskin

Here is a whole poem translated from Birhan Keskin (b.1963), Turkish, almost all of her poems, as are many of Nachoem M.Wijnberg's, in the first person directly as 'I':


For the sake of a cool dream
I've suffered the world's pain.

Me, I came from a dream,
I gave a dream to you,
a blue-green memory: here, my soul, the world,
blow hard on the plain, be silent to the hillside,
weep in the stream.

here, the world's door; here, the world's grief
stay in your mountain's shadow, or
be part of the fig's joy
pain yourself and be fulfilled.

If there is in her poems what one might call a trail of self-therapy, even (do we think?) that the poet suffers on our behalf, the poems for the most part stark, where might her book belong in therapeutic studies, in counselling rooms? I can't answer this, only to ask further how is it we individual people socially, politically, become what we are alone and together? Where is poetry in this whole scene now?

Another of her poems, Cactus and Texas opens,

I never once mentioned
to you
the twilight of this room,
the ocean, the waves drowning me

and I ask, does she mean someone in particular, might she mean me, no, not me, but yet what, who?