NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
GEORGE MESSO: ENTRANCES
Shearsman Books 58 Velwell Road
Exeter
EX4 4LD
UK
ISBN 0 907562 90 6
8.95 [$14]

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GEORGE MESSO: ENTRANCES

The poetry behind the atmospheric light and shadow photograph by Gautier Willaume where shrubs grow in terracotta pots is like the picture soft and illuminating in nature. There's the long path under the arches and a way to go for the reader along the light and shadow walkway. And so it is with the poems which are grouped in five sections.

The following poem WINTER BY THE CHORUH RIVER which appeared in the United Nations Dialogue Through Poetry 2001 Anthology opens the first section of the Ankara based poet's new collection:

	A woman is rowing across a dark rift.
	The scarf she wears is blue. But 
	she does not see me here among the trees.
	The snow is thick as cream and the river
	a black cloud she steers across.

	On the far bank smoke rises blue from her house.
	Blue of her scarf, blue of the wood-smoke rising.
A quote from Ludwig Wittgenstein:
The thought working its way towards the light
connects the first section, LOST IN LEAVES to the second MIDDAY STARS and points the way forward; tells what George Messo is trying to achieve here.

Light brings the reader through to the third section FROSTING GLASS which opens with THE TREE'S HIGH LEAVES, a translation from the Turkish of Melih Cevdet Anday:

	Unreachable.
	Property of birds and sun.
	Let none of us have news
	from the high leaves
CONSENT TO CLOUD the fourth section speaks of the Haft Awrang of Abdul-Rahman Jami, commissioned by the Safavid prince Sultan Ibrahim Mirza and completed in 1565, a manuscript now housed in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. The poem THE WISE OLD MAN examines:
	Scenes from the far side of a dream.
The fifth and final section AIR concludes with the poem LOM and the observation:
	everything is beginning.
	everything at an end.
There are some wonderful lines in this collection and one of the best- worked poems is WEATHER LIKE THIS about a visit to a library and tea garden at the residence of a former governor of Trabzon, the colourfully nicknamed Selim the Grim. In this poem as in several others Messo suddenly produces, like a ringing alarm clock, an unexpected intensity in his writing. On occasions throughout what is often a dreamy, sleepy journey we need awakening from our slumbers and daydreams if only to go back to our repose again:
	But your shoes are soaked and your overcoat smells of dog.
	History will not let you in.

	There are women moving upward under sticks,
	mountains on their backs.

	You suppose there will be fires
	in the homes of Karlik, hill of snowfullness.
George Messo's work is clearly more than mere Turkish delight. Courtesy of Shearsman you can now devour a whole box.

reviewer: Gwilym Williams.