Tuesday, April 07, 2009

East and West

Ciceros Songs recently included the below poem which seemed rather apposite to the destiny of Turkey so much in the news today . It is als a quite superb achievement by an Estonian poet unknown to me . I remarked ...”The Greeks who we see as the well spring of the West were rather more Asian than we have remembered .The conceptually pure white stone statues of Victorian 'classical' age were in fact brightly painted and bejewelled. Dionysus as important as Apollo .I would call this poem metaphysical in the sense that it joins thought and physical sensation , the body and the mind , also the comic with the elevated .It questions the idea of a boundary but understand s the need for one.” God I `m pretentious eh !
Turkey was once the quintessentially Eastern aggressor. but as a vital NATO member as yet not a member of the EU it is a Janus like creature . After the Iraq war only 8% of Turks are in favour of American leadership in world affairs .( Opinion Poll for the German Marshall Fund )worrying . For all that I deplore Islam in most current manifestations .and ultimately regard it as an enemy to be beaten,I support close ties with Turkey . Partly this is frustrate the petty delusions of the little froglet who wants a deeper ,not wider, EU .Partly for more important militarily strategic reasons .There are pieces today touching on the President’s visit in all the Papers
Independent Guardian and Telegraph .Also an excellent piece in the FT about the growing gap between rhetoric and reality for Obama.

The East-West border

The East-West border is always wandering,

sometimes eastward, sometimes west,
and we do not know exactly where it is just now:
in Gaugamela, in the Urals,
or maybe in ourselves,
so that one ear, one eye, one nostril, one hand, one foot,
one lung and one testicle or one ovary
is on the one, another on the other side.
Only the heart
only the heart is always on one side:
if we are looking northward,
in the West;if we are looking southward, in the East;
and the mouth doesn't know on behalf of which or both
it has to speak.

Jaan Kaplinski(Sam Hamill and Rita Tamm,Translators©2006 Copper Canyon Press)

1 comment:

Auntie Flo' said...

Lovely. Thanks for this.

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