UNDISCOVERED ISLANDS OF POETRY: WHERE IS CYPRUS?

_ Inga Tatolyte Sayı 139, Mayıs 2007

There was a conclusion made on the radio: poetry isn’t popular anymore. No one is buying it, so no one is reading it. I immediately made a decision – at the Vilnius book fair I’m going to the poetry book presentations. When something becomes unpopular, you recognize what its real worth is. And what you truly long for. This year at the Baltic Book Fair, which took place at the same time as the annual Vilnius Book Fair, the poets presented were our closest neighbours the Latvians and in terms of the EU, our farthest neighbours the Cypriots. Usually we are not interested very much in our close neighbours, and we know even less about those that are further away. But looking for more information about them I realized, that we are ignorant not only of them, and that we are not alone as such: in our times poetry rarely steps out the boundaries of its own country and language it is written in. Therefore the meeting with the Cypriot poets seemed to be especially intriguing, and promised a new acquaintance with a far-away country and their still distant and little-known poetry.The beginning of the presentation of the Cypriot poetry collection Sala (An Island) by “Baltos Lankos” publishing house, resembled a welcoming party, which started with red wine, cosy chatting in small groups of people scattered around, and the glances of dark exotic eyes flashing among the pale-white northern faces.

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