Feedback for the International Poetry Festival 2017 by Ute Margaret Saine

 

The modern poem is lodged at the edge of the inexpressible, the unutterable, that which cannot be said. So what a crazy idea to get together a bunch of rebarbative poets, lonely souls—when we very well know that authors often cannot match their products!

What does it take for a three-day utopia of unblemished human exchange to take place? It takes one determined organizer in Fahredin Shehu, who is afraid of nothing and no one and spreads his genuine cordiality far and wide. Who has fun in so doing, implicating his community. And who is a respectable and respected poet. It takes one polymath polyglot assistant organizer in Besa Hoxha Beqiri. It takes a generous local population, willing to listen to poetry under beautiful grape arbors, accompanied by enticing music. It takes devoted friends such as Dr. Qazim Cana.

And it takes this horde of people who love words: the poets themselves! In the ‘outside world’, people have a short attention span when you—that is, I, of course!—talk about words. In Rahovec it was pure heaven talking about words, with people nodding understandingly and spinning the thread further. Intense talking and intense listening, serious faces, and smiles, many smiles. A superlanguage originated, more powerful than English, it transformed our poor lingua franca into a poetic discourse, into a universal gift. Kairós, the happy moment when you want to thank everybody and everybody wants to thank you.

As my friend, the Roman poet Flaminia Cruciani, said at the end: “It will be difficult to leave such a warm group.” And our gratitude for this warmth still reverberates.

Margaret Saine

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