“In the gulf between calamity and culture” – Amanuel Asrat

I woke with the words: “Trust in betrayal’s backdoor” from the poem The Scourge of War in my mind.

The words were written by Eritrean poet Amanuel Asrat (named International Writer of Courage) and he crafts language that embeds in memory, like fish hooks in fingers.

If you have not read The Scourge of War, you can find the full piece here. https://peneritrea.com/blog/the-scourge-of-war

I am reminded of his plight. Amanuel Asrat is not only a poet, he was editor-in-chief of a leading newspaper Zemen. He ran a literary club too. In 2001 the Eritrean government cracked down on political opposition and he was arrested, along with many others.

Silence since.

Which brings to mind: “the freezing sun”.

He is believed to be held (without charge) in a maximum-security prison.

“Trust in betrayal’s backdoor”. A written fishhook in my mind’s finger. A sentence gifted, never forgotten. It is important we remember each other’s words and meanings.

Commit them to memory and reach to understand.