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Speaking of Speaking Out

220px-CarolynMarieSouaidPromoTwo weeks ago I found this poem about a Turkish novelist who spoke out against Armenian genocide. The poem was anthologized in the book Language for a New Century, Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond, edited by Tina Chang, Nathalie Handal and Ravi Shankar, and was written by Lebanese-Canadian poet Carolyn Marie Souaid (pictured).

 

I thought it was an apropos message to post in light of Cher's twitter risks. (See my post on the Tweets)

 

 

 

Apology to Orphan Pamuk

Comrade, how is it so?
Fined by the high court—

for what? Trafficking a thought?
You, an accomplished lover

of the pen

Who challenged the Turkish flank
for far, far more than a girl.

How do I walk these streets?
How do I breath this air?

While, heroic, you stand

eulogizing the thousands
flattened on your land?
Risking an emporium bullet,
your name in the news.

I, who am one of you
and not of you.

Flattened by the minutiae of Art:
Idolizing my muse

and the metaphorical prisons
of the heart.

Carolyn Marie Souaid's Author’s Note: In January 2006, the [Turkish] court dropped charges against the novelist [named in the title of the poem], accused of insulting the Turkish republic for openly writing and speaking against the genocide of Armenians in 1915, a taboo subject and one that officially never happened, according to the Turkish government.

 

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