Heidi Trautmann

668 - Barefoot in the Desert - Book launch of M. Kansu’s newest book


By Heidi Trautmann


M. Kansu is one of my oldest poet friends, the one who told me in all length about literature and poetry in Cyprus, explaining to me the various poetry waves that swept over Cyprus from the very beginning, originating from Turkey but in the end developing their own distinctive characteristics. M. stands for Mehmet but… “everybody calls me Kansu….and I am very much concerned about the suffix SU in my name, Water….

On Saturday, July 12, Kansu presented his newest book - that makes 32 books now altogether -  to his friends and followers at the Khora Bookstore in Nicosia. Only recently we wrote about the celebration his circle of friends and photographers undertook to honour him and ‘55 years in the service of literature’ with the production of a photo book.

The new book contains poems, short stories, essays in a form of landscape that transports in itself immediate images on our mind: The desert; Kansu uses the desert - and explains his thoughts to his attentive guests – as a stage or platform for human behaviour. He gives us six points:

1.Desert – a place where the exhausted human being can find peace and silence.

2.Desert – a living space for desert animals fighting for their territory, representing society;

3.Desert – a living and breathing phenomenon expanding due to extreme heat during the day and contracting due to extreme cold at night, equivalent with appearances of the body of society;

4.Desert – even under these conditions a place of refuge for the mind because there is no distraction.

5.Desert – an immense space without roads, without any signs of direction, how are we going to find our destination; problems we face,

6.Desert – is the reflection of our daily life.


There was one other point Kansu added for me: “Barefoot in the desert…it is painful….but we Cypriots seem to enjoy it”….does he mean masochistic?


He gives me one of the poems translated into English.


A Black Butterfly

Sometimes I lose my way

Can’t go forwards

Nor backwards

            Go in circles

            With tortured feet

Like a karafatma

On dried dung

Treeless the slopes

Of the mountain, where I wait

For the evening breeze

            In moments when I forget

            The letter ‘a’

            I touch the wings

            Of the black butterfly with my fingertips

And we start talking.


The art work on the cover of the small poetry book is by his artist wife Inci Kansu; she is a paper artist, producing her own paper from old paper she collects or from plant fibres and from there creating her kind of art, as in paper she sees the carrier of culture.

The image represents masks made from paper pulp, masks we wear? Kansu addresses his wife and asks her for her comments on the creation of a book.

“An author and his pen enter a commitment with the paper that is to become a book,  a reciprocal relationship, but the design of such a work is equally important, the quality and colour of paper, the setting of the text, i.e. layout, and finally the cover, the designer carries the responsibility for the unity of the whole. Not only to attract the reader’s attention but to promise an interesting content and to invite the future reader to enter the building. The image we have chosen for the cover, I have not especially created it for the book,  but we selected it because it went well with a sentence Kansu used in the foreword of his book: … ‘will there be happiness, will it embrace people?’


the new book
the new book

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