n New Coin Poetry - Bilakhulu!, Vonani Bila : review

Volume 51, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0028-4459



Nazim Hikmet's 'Autobiography' is a poem that is often used in writing workshops to encourage poets to engage and frame their personal histories in an associative way. It uses time - but not in a way that is melancholic or nostalgic - more as an index to move and change and leap from one experience to another. It is robust in its straightforward lines and clarity of energy. It allows movement, and chronicle, but in a way that repeats the necessity of a socially engaged "I" in the present. It is political, too, of course, and it is modernist - part of its directness. It was also written at a time of great brutality and horror, and the poet's own exile and imprisonment from his motherland, Turkey.

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