The poems in Songs from Two Continents follow a tradition extended from the folk poetry of the common peoples of Turkey, infusing Moris Farhi's Turkish roots with his European upbringing. Farhi's themes are similarly binary and often paradoxical. Thus from carnality to unrequited love, from rapture to sorrow, from mysticism to empiricism, from subjection to freedom, his poems endeavour to express simply - even linearly - the essence of our sensibilities. They seek love and liberation even as they despair of humankind's propensity for conflict and brutality. Whether conceived in Farhi's maturity as a writer or in his rambunctious early years, these poems enquire into such themes with their author's customary sensual verve and passionate intelligence. In the same vein as Nazum Hikmet and Orhan Veli, Moris Farhi has developed the idea that poetry should be the pure distillation of emotions, unleashed through existence.
Moris Farhi was born in Turkey in 1935. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Vice-President of International Pen. He was appointed an MBE in 2001 for 'services to literature'. Author location Brighton, UK