Where is the path of the world of light?-by Nurduran Duman

If we had been pearls and followed the bright eyes of water creatures into the depths of darkness, would we have been able to find the way to the world of light?

Article by Nurduran Duman

 published at the literary review Cumhuriyet Kitap

04 February 2021

Translated by Baris Behramoglu

Where does the journey of an old tree begin? From the sapling or the sprout? Or, where the bird is pecking the seed and fruit? From that fruit or the flight? There was rain before the flight. Did the seed fall to the ground before the rain?

Moreover, before the seed, what was there? When a tree gets old, does its journey start from the atom? However, then, when does the reader start his journey with the poet he just met? This book allows us to start on our fingertips. Just looking at the headlines shows us that a woman is born from fingertips: Fromthe verses of the Indian poet Rati Saxena…

“Washing clothes is not an advertisement for soaps.”

This is an inherent hand to be, to exist in this world, as a woman; To be a human and female at the same time. Saxena is a poet whose promise is to celebrate the existence of pure humanity. She has a special place in today’s world of poetry through her universal words infused with India. With the selection of her poems in “Time is changing,” translated to Turkish by Baris Behramoglu, you have an overview of your inner world and your outer courtyard at a glance. It is a moving experience, a deep and high back-and-forth between the eye, the mind, and the heart. Childhood, womanhood, poethood, philosophy, nature, the pure reality-even if what we see is perceived as a dream at certain times-, the everyday pain of India and the whole world is also filled with this same world’s joy. The poet who misses her pen and her ink and who wants to transform herself into words think of a multitude of other things: of mothers, children between the incomplete houses who are hanging their own sky on the unmade roof, about the composition of hunger, the ignorant rock, their language; those of the animals…

They speak through their claws/through their wings/through their stings/through their mustaches and through their tails/ Only they have language that is not human.”

Essentially in these visual poems, while wandering the body, the daily life, and the geography, we also carry each letter on our shoulders. Because this is also the footnote that the poet shares with us in her “Hands-on shoulders”; in India, young women after an arranged marriage must move to their husbands’, far from home, and they can no longer see their old friends again.

“Put your hand on my shoulder. I’ll keep mine on yours “

Because thousands of girls are wasted with sulfuric acid thrown on the shores of Lake Udaipur. Because “They are not goats but girls” was written after a newspaper article reporting that a family sold their daughters but not their son for a very small amount enough to buy goats. This would have been sufficient to be offended, but Saxena’s hope to succeed and the strength for fighting are the fuel of her words.

“Wings, dreams, flight, and sky / if these are with him / then who stops him?” Death is not a burden, “There came a moon shadow/ and then a bubble / Life is over.”

She is more at peace and less upset about the world and universal culture into which she was born. It is the promise of a responsible poet. The (naturally) painful vivacity of her perception of the world lets us open our windows to this same view and to embrace -some of us to see- the joy of living, the path that only the brave chooses. Neither a serpent coiling around the woman’s body, a bird, butterfly, bee, nor ant … Rati Saxena sees herself more as a table, a chair…

… “And then came to know / I was a window / When open wide that the world looks through / When closed a number of worries are behind me.”

“Time is changing” was translated by Baris Behramoglu and released from Tekin Publishing in the collection “World Contemporary Poetry Ocean” directed by Ataol Behramoglu.