Saturday, December 24, 2005


"Pallikari" (plural Pallikarya). (Turkish: yigit) Greek word for young men, brave men, it connotes strength and youth. In Petri's times Palikarya was usually assigned to Rum/Greek street gangs of istanbul.

The Pallikari of Nesmine Rifat by David Solway

For his celebrated poetry collection Saracen Island, David Solway took on the voice of a Greek poet named Andreas Karavis. So artful were these poems that many readers believed they were authentic translations from Greek by Karavis. The Pallikari of Nesmine Rifat continues Solway's inspired poetic ruse. In this new book of ostensible translations, he adopts the persona of Karavis's spurned lover, Turkish Cypriot poet Nesmine Rifat. Lushly sexual and sparkling with wit and intelligence, these extraordinary poems take the form of a series of undelivered letters, penned in the wake of Karavis's desertion and eventual marriage to Anna Zoumi. With great subtlety and sensitivity, Solway portrays a powerful woman and gifted poet undergoing a violent emotional journey from explosive anger and arrogant disdain to bitter melancholy and undying passion.

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