Saturday, March 9, 2013

And on the Third Day . . . of AWP

Kinda beat. Long day. Lots of walking around, in spite of hitting some panels.  Went to a great one on Turkish poet Nazim Hakmet. Another great one on Lewis Hyde's The Gift as it applies to the writing game as known at AWP.

Some startlingly fabulous discussions with people whose names I don't remember. A few disappointments with people I thought I had more of a bond with than is really there. Much warmth from New York friends.  A few names and email addresses written down and saved.

Went to evening receptions.  Wine and enough snacks, some from a chafing dish, to make a meal.

Here's Nazim Hakmet, one of Turkey's greatest poets.

I love my country:
I’ve swung on its plane trees,
I’ve slept in its prisons.
Nothing lifts my spirits like its songs and tobacco…
My county:
goats on the Ankara plain,
the sheen of their long blond silky hair.
The succulent plump hazelnuts of Giresun.
Amasya apples with fragrant red cheeks,
and bunches and bunches of grapes
all colors,
then plows,
and black oxen,
and then my people,
ready to embrace
with the wide-eyed joy of children
anything modern, beautiful and good –
my honest, hard-working, brave people,
half full, half hungry,
half slaves…

Nazim Hikmet, 1902, Salonica to 1963, Moscow (courtesy of "Turkish Poetry--click on his name).

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