My Throat Will Die

Aron Atabek

My throat, unable to speak, will die
For the sounds of my homeland.
My ancestors’ patter will vanish
Like water into sand.
I am a storyteller of immortality
In Semitic and Etruscan tongues;
I am the dust of Turkic dialects
Writing in Russian.
Many lives’ twisted fates
Are lost inside me, mourning,
And I myself am a naked tangle of nerves Pulsating with verses.

Translated by Niall McDevitt and Alfia Nakipbekova, published in the literary magazine, Ambit .

Aron Atabeg (c) Kazis Toguzbaev (RFE/RL)

Aron Atabeg (c) Kazis Toguzbaev (RFE/RL)

Aron Atabek is a poet, journalist and social activist. He has written several books of poetry and prose inspired by Tengriist spirituality and was the founder, in 1992, of the monthly newspaper Khak (The Truth). Atabek was awarded the literary “Almas Kylysh” prize in 2004 and the Freedom to Create “imprisoned” prize in 2010.

Atabek has been in prison since 2007 and has spent much of his incarceration in solitary confinement. In December 2012, following the online publication of  The Heart of Eurasia, a critique of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s regime (written in prison by Atabek and smuggled out for publication), the poet was sentenced to spend two years in solitary confinement at a high security prison in Arkalyk. Whilst in solitary detention, Atabek was kept in extremely harsh conditions: he was denied access to natural light, communication with other prisoners, writing materials and telephone calls; family visits were severely restricted, resulting in only one successful visit between 2010 and the current date; he was kept under constant video surveillance.

See more here.  and here.

 

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