The voice of the poet in a complicated world (Perface of Atunis Anthology – 2020) / By: Hannie Rouweler (The Netherlands)

The voice of the poet in a complicated world

It is fascinating to read poems from other countries, other places, sometimes far away from our house, our own existence, that give us a different and new picture of what we didn’t know before. Internet and e publishers are immense valuable for the rapid dissemination of knowledge and add many positive values to what would otherwise remain unknown territory to many, whose existence otherwise could be an empty and deserted area. These days it seems that those empty spaces can be filled in immediately. That is not entirely true. Upon closer inspection, you notice that some poets carry a complex background, source of life, which indeed requires further insights. That is why it is important to do some self-research, not only into the differences and similarities of language expressions, the form, the interpretation, writing styles, but also the background from which they originated. The poet and his environment.

This brings us not only closer to the language, the written thoughts, feelings, images, but also closer to the person who is behind those words. And therefore closer to ourselves. In this time when it seems that we know everything about each other, can look everything up, there are gaps due to social and political circumstances and backgrounds. To some questions are made to write a poem about the state of the world, or about their own country, elementary thoughts about freedom and democracy, the role and meaning of their own religion that is deeply rooted, the conviction which path one should follow, the differences between good and bad, so-called morals and norms. With so many shifts that seem to be taking place at a global level, nowadays, it is not always easy to be sort of directional pointer, to impart to the other, the reader, the awareness of what it means e.g. to be a refugee, to live in exile, to be an outsider in society, to be displaced, to express friction points.

Although poetry is not obligated to anything, and is in its nature completely free of obligations – does not have to follow preconceived standards – it is sometimes useful to have a greater awareness of the craters that are visible or hidden in some lives. After all, they are concrete things that the world citizen, and therefore the poet, have to deal with in some way or the other. The many wars are a fact, the schisms in previously close sections of the population, consequences of poverty, the lack of involvement with fellow human beings, the indifference, absence of empathy, the astonishment about so many unresolved issues, in own living conditions but also on a larger scale, worldwide.

In this anthology we will certainly hear voices that express the human deficiency, the impossibility of establishing real connections, taking responsibility for injustice and ignorance, now often silent but unfortunately very present witnesses of the day. On the other hand, general themes such as love, the longing for security, the sorrow about loss, mourning, the beauty and powers of nature are always present in the hearts of many who write poems. It is, after all, of all times. The hope for change, a better future, desire for solidarity with one’s neighbour, the drowning out of negative thoughts by opposing something divergent, the building of bridges between various cultures. The better understanding of what is different, what deviates from rules, the norm and the mediocrity. They are poets who always succeed in putting someone on a certain track, to a different reality, a different possibility than what is usually indicated by (often) not always the best leaders. In that case, conscience speaks and language as a means of transport is able to give clarity and interpretation.


Hannie Rouweler, The Netherlands


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