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World Literature Today Review: Pomegranate Garden

Book Review, Poetry, Poetry in Translation -

World Literature Today Review: Pomegranate Garden

And another great review! This time for Pomegranate Garden by Haydar Ergülen on World Literature Today:

'Ergülen has a broad poetic range. Pomegranate Garden features works from 1982 to 2019. Pomegranate Garden delights in prose poetry, symbolism, free verse, narrative, premodern classicism, and the occasional mystic spiritual. But arguably, Ergülen best succeeds at what Parker notes as his “down-to-earth concerns of humanity itself.” In his poem “Borrowed Like Sorrow” (2005), he writes, “Mornings are tough / much more so than poetry.” His quotidian commentary becomes profound in his elegy to the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, written the year he was assassinated. “In truth we are neither Turks, nor Kurds, nor Armenians, / ours such a ‘father,’ Hrant, we are all orphans,” Ergülen writes in “Gazel of Orphans” (2007).

'He is unabashedly joyful about his work, in an autobiographical way that lends itself to ecstatic, performative poetry. “I love a bit of Haydar and a bit of Ergülen poetry,” he wrote in his poem “I Could Never Be an Evening!” (2011). In such poems, and throughout Pomegranate Garden, there are references to other famous Turkish poets, like Attilâ İlhan, Cemal Süreya, and Oktay Rifat. He does not mention them out of competitive spite, as is common among poets in Turkey, but in solidarity. Ergülen celebrates poetic universality, as an essential human activity for all. “[T]he world is poetry’s garden too,” he writes in his long poem “On Things That Are Falling Asleep” (2011). It is an apt metaphor for the world as an open pomegranate of countless poems.'

Read the review in full on the World Literature Today website

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