Author: Umayya Abu-Hanna

Relative values

Issue 1/2004 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the autobiographical novel Nurinkurin (‘Upside down, inside out’, WSOY, 2003). Interview by Anna-Leena Nissilä

The soldier rides on a scarf
waving a donkey

‘Now it’s your turn to go on,’ says my brother on the back seat, turning his head toward the window so that he can concentrate on his poetic muse.

Father looks in the mirror, wrinkling his face in pain. ‘The object, in other words, is of no significance to you. What happened to your case endings and your grammar?’

From the back seat we shout eagerly: ‘The poet has special privileges which are not accorded to others.’

Father shakes his head: ‘You can be creative, but silly content and broken language do not make poetry.’

‘Oh yes they do. Don’t disturb our creative spirit. When you speak, our connection with her is broken. Don’t cut off the source of our inspiration.’ More…