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Review: In the Temple of a Patient God, by Bejan Matur

... that poetry is made, different traditions coming together to create something vital and new. The poet is bringing together special discriminations, resources and directions of language and enriching both traditions. The Kurdish poet, Bejan Matur (who chooses to write in Turkish) is fully aware of this, Maureen Freely writing in her Introduction to In the Temple of a Patient God, that for Matur, 'Words never forget their spiritual histories', assuaging sorrow and grief in Ruth Christie's fine translation:

Wheat in our fields
bitter water in our well.
We dug earth's womb
and gave it our language.


Although having its origins in the Arabic and Persian languages, modern Turkish was stripped of those linguistic roots by Ataturk in the last century and now relies on 'foreign' imports such as French for impetus suggesting that fusion of political and aesthetic interplay which cultures need.