The present study focuses on tracing the depictions of the poetic subject in the light of lost homelands, linguistic foreignness and multilingualism, in poems about “political ethics”, which all too clearly converse with history—narratives that highlight the geographically and linguistically homeless poetic subject, in poems which are always written under the weight of a specific historical event, in other words articulated “under the heavy footsteps of history”. The transition from stability to instability, the feeling of physical and psychological loss through geographical and cultural change is vividly reflected in both Balkan and Turkish-Cypriot literature. In the present study, poems by Balkan poets are examined alongside poems by Turkish-Cypriot poet Mehmet Yaşin. Despite the self-evident cultural differences between Balkan and Turkish-Cypriot literature, there exist factors that warrant their co-examination; common narrative structures and similar themes—at least in part—require that they be systematically read together. The common historical past and the burden of memory—the construction or reconstruction through these texts of a collective point of reference and the transfer to common memorial sites; internal migration; the survival of common oral forms of poetry; divergent or ‘heretical’ writings; linguistic transitions; the processing of transitional identities: these are just some of the most obvious points of convergence. Balkan poems constitute a distinct category and, as will be shown below, are linked to Turkish-Cypriot ones primarily through their ideology. Some of the themes that persistently recur in Balkan poets' and Yaşin's work are: lost homelands, the reception of alterity, internal migration, shattered identities, the thematisation of orality and multilingualism. Yaşin's poetry registers the multiple transitions of language and the coexistence of foreign languages, while also making use of the Karamanlidika dialect.

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