Brother to the night

Poetry is brother to the night And mother to the day Grandfather in the heart Is poetry. From the Turkish of Ulku Tamerm

In the Anatolian countryside moonlight makes shadows among the rounded hills -- moving shadows of sheep nestled close to the shepherd in his warm tentlike cloak. Craggy mountains form a background. A thread of road passes through the hills, and trucks point bright beams at the villages.

Warm light comes in squares through windows of the village houses that are built in tight clusters. The hillside is a sparkling jewel.

The agbey,m older brother, has called the children in, has helped them take off their warm coats and hang them on pegs around the room. He sits before the fire with them on long cushions which have been lovingly embroidered or woven. The boys are playing marbles.

"Poetry is brother to the night."

The smell of steaming stew and hot bread pervades the room. The mother is busy with a big wooden ladle, dishing out food for her family. Tomorrow she will go to the fields with other women to dig up sugar beets. The women will color the fields with their bright garments. The fields will be happy with laughter, warm in the sunlight. Poetry is "mother to the day."

The grandfather has taken his place at the head of the table. He is aware of the problems of live, but tolerant. He has learned from his years. His presence is a benevolence to this family, and they appreciate his wisdom and affection.

"Grandfather i n the heart" is a real compliment to poetry.

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