|Figure of the Month: Kurdish Poet Sherko Bekas, The Flower of Freedom|
Sherko Bekas, the son of the great Kurdish poet Fayak Bekas, was bom in Sulaimanya in Kurdistan on May 2, 1940. He suffered political persecution, was banned to the Iraqi desert for three years following the publication of his poems. He left his country in 1986.
Since 1987, He has held numerous readings of his poems in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the United kingdom, Russia, Italy-where he was named honorary citizen of Milan-, and in 1990 in the United States.
Sherko Bekas is a pioneer in modern Kurdish poetry. In 1970 he introduced a new poetic style, called "ruwanga" (vision).Traditional poetry was subject to many rules, such as rhyme, which were obstacles hindering the free flow of thought. A poet had to forsake many beautiful fantasies and ideas just because they would not rhyme. Ruwanga in contrast allows the poet to let his fantasies soar and even overcome the boundaries of language. The poet has nothing more man words to illustrate his philosophy. The same words must lend a melody to his thoughts, because "a poem without music is like a bird without song", says Bekas.
In 1975 Bekas introduced the term "poster poems" - a term originating from sculpturing and painting. Most of these poems are short. Small or seemingly trivial objects can convey great mysteries. Everything in these poems is alive. In the beginning thoughts are often depicted vaguely, the poet rouses the reader's curiosity and fantasy. Then the poem culminates in a surprising climax, which sometimes comes as a bit of a shock, hi which the mystery of the poem is solved.
Women enjoy a special status in Bekas' poetry. He says, "if you take away women from the world of poetry, it suffocates, just like fish if they are pulled from the water”. The women's feeling, their friendship and love become a rainbow for the poet, which makes the talent more colorful and enriches the fantasy.