Portukoplak: Poems and Chanteys

Elkar, 2006

portukoplakKirmen Uribe has put together a personal anthology of sea chanteys and poems, initiating a conversation between writers’ writings and treasures gathered from the oral tradition.He’s braided together songs on the one hand and written poems on the other; starting with olden melodies and ending with twenty-first century poems, with spontaneously sung verses, written verses, airs, rhymed poems and free verse in between.

Julio Caro Baroja once said that, leaving aside the oldest of words, all technical words connected to seafaring are similar in all languages and in Euskara, too. “Whale,” for example (balea), or “mariner” (marinela), or “mast” (masta). There seems to have been an international code from the very beginning among all the countries that gave onto the sea. In fact, the ocean doesn’t divide us, instead it brings us together. May this anthology be an excuse for coming together.