By Heidi Trautmann
In the mist of the middle height of the world
we all hoist our laundry out on rails and rails of string.
Some of us hang them out to dry,
others for the air to remove cooking smells
or to let free dangling iron out creases.
The strings wing out from flat windows,
splitting smoke rising from a nargile or a pot challis
burning incense. And on their way to open spaces,
they touch plant pots, white Jasmine,
and scratch the stale air with the smell of basil.
Each string starts at one home and ends at another,
whispering messages in a universal tongue.
Each visible line crosses over with another
and they all make shapes like a needle point
crochet, a quilt sewn from different patterns.
Anyone walking on the street below looking up
can see the sleeves of shirts waving, the legs
of trousers walking in the light of day
and sometimes, even, a teddy bear dancing
on an imaginary connection of stars.
Maria Gregoriou (First Prize, Poetic Encounters “Building Good Neighbourhoods Across Boundaries”, 2009
The auditorium Alpha was filled to the very last seat, three hundred perhaps, the auditorium Alpha at the European University Cyprus in Nicosia, filled with people involved with literature, interested in what the writers and poets have contributed to the new Cadences Fall 2009, the fifth volume.
In the book I find the definition of the word Cadence: rhythm in sound; the rise and fall of the voice in speaking; the end of a musical phrase.
And then from Shakespeare, from The Tempest - as a sort of leitmotiv?
“Be nor afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.”
The Editorial Statement says: Cadences is a multilingual literary magazine, publishing poetry, short fiction, autobiography, experimental work, and other writings in all the languages of the island of Cyprus and those of its visitors…….. Cadences is committed to building bridges between the communities, while both encouraging students and new writers and those who are more established. Published by the Department of Humanities at European University Cyprus, it has an advisory editorial board composed of prominent writers and academics from the Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot, Armenian Cypriot, Palestinian American, American and London Cypriot communities. Its aim is to reflect the diversity of the island’s writing and in the process enhance cultural understanding and communication.
Stavros St.Karayanni, the managing editor, greeted the guests and introduced the new Volume No. 5 of Cadences which was dedicated to Yannis Ritsos Centenary, a very popular and widely read Greek poet. It was this centenary the writing contest “Poetic encounters” was based on. An example is the poem mentioned at the beginning having been awarded the first prize.
Stavros said that he was happy to have some of the participants’ poetry in the new volume.
Among the readers – about 20 of different nationalities – were Ingemar Lindahl, the Swedish Ambassador, Paul Stewart, Maria Gregoriou, Christos Polydorou, Eirini Athanasiou, Zeki Ali, Stephanos Stephanides, Aydin Mehmet Ali (assistant editor of Cadences), Nora Nadjarian, David Porter, Maria Ioannou, Soteroulla Adamidou, Despina Sidiropoulou and Heidi Trautmann; Stavros then invited some of the students and young writers to read from their work.
A good evening! The steps of approach are becoming more and more. Thank you Stavros!
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