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How Abraham Abandoned Me

How Abraham Abandoned Me

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Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation for Spring 2012.

This collection covers the broad vision of mankind’s history with a story of an individual journey: a pilgrimage in south-western Anatolia. Filled with Islamic reference and imagery, Turkish poet Bejan Matur presents complex ideas about the immensity of time, space and the cosmos, with a simplicity of expression perfectly captured in Ruth Christie’s translation.

"How Abraham Abandoned Me is an astonishing book... a compelling, surging poetry. The ideas come with a giddying headlong rush."
Ian Pople, Manchester Review

Lean over a well
Lean over and feel Gabriel’s wings
and your lack of wings.
See there
how words exist
how a human being flows into another.
Perhaps what opens the way is darkness.

(from ‘What Opens the Way is Darkness’)

Bejan Matur has published four books of poetry, her first winning two major literary prizes. A translated selection of her poems, The Temple of a Patient God, was published by Arc in 2004. Matur’s poetry has been translated into 17 different languages.

Ruth Christie was born in Scotland. Her recent translation of Poems of Oktay Rifat with Richard McKane (Anvil Press, 2007), was a runner-up in for the Popescu Poetry Prize.