. . .

“If you are in the garden, I will dress myself in leaves.
If you are in the sea, I will slide into that smooth blue nest,
I will talk fish, I will adore salt.”

Mary Oliver

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… no particular category … just because

The photographs you see here depict the people to whom my gratitude is immense – not to willingly exclude a large number of others on my actual list. These images actually show only two minuscule moments of utter joy and happiness that I have witnessed and experienced at the notable 2017 Kosovo International Poetry Festival. While counting solely as still pictures, these images are accompanied by a strong sense of accomplishment. Not because I was one of the invitees. No! It is rather due to a large number of fellow poets from across the globe who gathered their vocal support of dearest Fahredin Shehu in his incredible efforts to underline for our gravely troubled world the timeless significance and beauty of the art of poetry and its incomparable power to unite us all under the one race, one ethnicity, one social class, one religion that exists: humanity.

To William S. Peters Sr., the man dear to countless of people in numerous locations on Earth, I express my thanks publicly at last. Had it not been for who he is, I would have missed experiencing the festival’s home -the picturesque Rahovec of Kosovo, let alone live a mesmerizingly soul-fulfilling, inspiring and rewarding event of all times. Knowing that I was in the mindset of shying away from attending because I had not written a new book, he made sure to stand by me until I, in fact did. All along, he offered my inclination his utmost respect -without even once discouraging me from composing my Aflame. Memoirs in Verse, although such publication was not at all a requirement.

Besa Hoxa Beqiri, dear Besa, my companion in the different-awards-filled life of teaching, must have had a very easy (!) and pleasant (!) time under the piles of poetic translations she had to ready before the festival. She sounded so good while reading my poem submissions in the native language. The person who translates any literary work must be thanked to with full enthusiasm; for such intellectual and creative process requires an all-consuming attention and care. Hence, my attempt to show her my heartfelt appreciation through these few words.

Festivals come, festivals go. What remains are the first, ongoing and last impressions. This festival was memorable in every aspect, starting with the high sensitivity given to the invitees in the event’s preparatory stages. The fine detailing of the program, the arrival and transportation arrangements and communication to the travelers before their trip’s onset as far as what to first expect upon arrival had apparently been planned for a successful implementation of all the different elements of the event.

The people I have met and interacted with throughout this most notable celebration of poetry for humanity at large gifted me with delightful memories of friendship and encouragement for the remainder of my days.

Outside my fellow poets, also the uniquely friendly and most courteous supermen, the beautiful staff of the restaurant -our frequent hangout destination, have etched their place among my lifelong experiences I so do and will continue to brag about.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My sincerest thanks to all of you whose names I cannot possibly repeat here. And thank you, you fantasy-like world region Kosovo, for making me fall in love with Rahovec, Prizren, Gjakova and other spectacular places you have offered me in this magical year of 2017 thanks to the vision of a wonderful soul called Fahredin Shehu.

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Prizren, Kosova.jpg

Prizren, Kosova.2

Prizren, Kosova.3

Rahovec, Kosovo.2.At the opening event with dearest fellow poets

Djakova, Kosovo.Apologies to the fellow poet who took this picture

Photo Credits: Fahredin Shehu (the first two), self (the Prizren pictures). As for the beautiful group pictures, wonderful fellow poets shared them on Facebook. My apologies! I have not saved my downloads by your names.

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. . .

 

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Image Credit

“I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live.”
~ Jonathan Safran Foer 

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. . .

“So little of what could happen does happen.” ~ Salvador Dali

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. . .

Unknown

“Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say.” ~ Mitch Albom

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“unscarred! but who?” – On Atrocities…A Poetic Reflection at the Doorstep of Rahovecit, Kosova

My heartfelt thanks are once again on their way to you, dear scholar poet Fahredin Shehu, to you, dear writer professor Besa Hoxha Bekiri and to everyone involved in, worked at and sponsored the spectacular celebration of world poetry at your continuously successful Kosovo International Poetry Festival of 2017 ~

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Selected photographs at/around the White Drin Waterfall and the Bridge
in Kosova, near Rahovec/Rahovecit
Photo Credit: Self

 

unscarred! but who?

a canvas of nature-made splendor
as far ahead as our challenged irises might take in
a recent enough history of unspeakable human-to-human atrocities
as far back as our pre-conditioned pulmonary artery opts to pump humanity into us

as had i had nothing to do with it
as had i also had not kept my silence . . .

the barbarities-witnessed now immaculately erect bridge over Lumi Drini
revealing not one single sign of its blood-scarred blood-soaked beds down below
nor of those who were butchered in the ways beyond my comprehension
conception
imagination
realization
yet anon at my hands’ pleading reach
drawing my blood from deep inside my being’s core

will
could
would
my poetry-celebrating Rahovecit
Kosova in its entirety
ever forgive me?

i seek pardon in your words,
oh you beloved humanist Godhead of all poets Nazım:
“Ben yanmasam, sen yanmasan, biz yanmasak,
Nasıl çıkar karanlıklar aydınlığa…”
‘If I do not burn, if you do not burn, if we do not burn,
How can the darknesses ever arrive at bright days…’ 

while i sip a thirst-for humanity-quenching delight
simply called a bottle of strawberry juice

blood red inside . . .

© hülya n. yılmaz, September 10, 2017

 

 

Related Links:
A Kosovo Chronology.War in Europe
Ethnic Cleansing and Atrocities in Kosovo.War in Europe
Bosnian Serb Milan Lukic burned Muslims alive in houses
Interviews – Three Albanian Victims of Serbian Ethnic Cleansing and Atrocities

 

 

 

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. . .

“It’s never the changes we want that change everything.” ~ Junot Diaz

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[Image Credit: Public Domain Pictures]

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