Bread on my knee
stars in the distance far in the distance
I'm eating bread and looking at the stars
I'm so intensely lost in thought
that by mistake I eat
a star instead of bread.
It was really hard to choose a poet to introduce to you today. I had three great Brazilian candidates in my list, but not much time to collect information about them, so I made up my mind to go for another important Turkish poet on my shelf: Oktay Rifat.
If I don't see through my window,
if you don't pass along the street out there,
believe me it's all over. A dusty haze,
a rider heading for the mountains.
But now you stare
from where you left off - again.
The thing with Oktay Rifat is that I can't understand much of him. This book of his, I usually open it and read something. But it's not often he grabs me. Oktay was another very important contributor to significant changes in Turkish poetry. He won a poetry prize, he had many books published, poetry books and novels as well, he wrote free verse... still he can rarely reach me.
Lately, I've been reading Oktay a line a time. I study his word choice and style. One line at a time I think I'll be able to learn to love him, not because maybe I should, but because it's an exercise on self-knowledge to me. Why is it that I can't enjoy his writing? How can I change the way I feel about it?
Have we lived only a little, have wegrown old just a little...
Be mine without losing yourself or diminishing...
Had to be silent in the great tumult, get up at an ungodly hour, the hour when birds fall.
In two different occasions, I was watching this movie, Burn After Reading and it was so boring I slept halfway to the end. Twice. When I woke up in the second occasion, I remember wondering 'how come these Coen brothers are said to be so brilliant and they don't grab me?' I made a committment to watch all movies made by the two of them so I could have a real, accurate opinion about what their creations were like. Guess what happened? I started to respect them after watching Fargo, and to love them after watching A Serious Man. I really believe one can get the same result with a poet and that's why Oktay's translated works sit on my shelf.
My challenge today is not a difficult one. It consists of getting a poem of a famous poet you don't feel very fond of and finding at least a line you could respect him for writing. Write on the same theme, or the same style the poem was written in. Make the chosen line the title of your poem. (I would also appreciate a link to the original poem!)
Link your poem below and don't forget to link back to IGWRT! Happy writing!