SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul
THE HOTEL POEM
“LOOKING AT ISTANBUL”
THE TAXIS OF ISTANBUL
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THE HOTEL POEM “LOOKING AT ISTANBUL” THE TAXIS OF ISTANBUL  

THE HOTEL POEM
We were eating in a restaurant that first night, already disappointed in the modern anonymity of our American hotel, our senses assaulted by the grandeur of mosque and minaret silhouetted against the dimming sky of the oldest part of the city. We began a conversation with a man at another table who spoke a little English. He recommended the hotel owned by a young woman, a friend of his. We found the hotel and were welcomed in English by its charming hostess-owner. Three floors, no elevator, and only nine rooms C ours was high on the third floor, twin beds, a rickety wooden bedside table, a tin shower, a window-- but the name of the hotel! Ah, the name! How could we possibly look for a more luxurious lodging when we could stay at The Hotel Poem!
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THE HOTEL POEM “LOOKING AT ISTANBUL” THE TAXIS OF ISTANBUL  


“LOOKING AT ISTANBUL”
The one window of our little room opens on the Sea of Marmara; at our feet we see the ruins of the ancient wall of Constantinople; and on the other shore of the bronze expanse of water the Asian side of the sprawling city appears at dawn through the winter mists. Each morning we breakfast on hard-boiled eggs and goat cheese, fresh baked bread, apricot and quince preserves, endless cups of coffee and tea, served to us in the combination reception area, dining room, TV room, living room. There is a small deck and upstairs a roof garden looking toward the water. that must be heavenly in summer! Each room has a framed poem (in English) hanging on the wall, and the name of the room is engraved on a handsome brass key tag. The room is identified by the title of the poem. Our room is called Looking at Istanbul.
SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul
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Poetry endangers the established order  of the soul - Plato

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THE HOTEL POEM “LOOKING AT ISTANBUL” THE TAXIS OF ISTANBUL  


THE TAXIS OF ISTANBUL
Finding the hotel was an adventure. Unfortunately, each time we return to it from any distance is another adventure. The taxis whirl and spin around us like yellow autumn leaves, making us dizzy with their coming and going. When we finally signal one, we struggle with a language so different from any we know we feel as though we are visiting the city of Babel, not Istanbul. The swarthy driver listens to our directions with a gradually increasing mixture of desperation and resignation as we talk to him in English and Spanish and show him a map to take us to our hotel. Frustration mounts; the driver asks passersby, other drivers -- Once we take a young Turkish man to a hotel near ours, so he can indicate to our driver how to reach the Hotel Poem. And once, only once! we mention the Blue Mosque, gesture left, right, left -- and we are at the hotel. As we pull up in front of the door both of us break into spontaneous applause, bringing a shy smile to the face of our taxi driver and a puzzled look backward at the unusual tourists as he drives away -- since it is beyond our linguistic powers to explain to him why we are so delighted.
SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul
POETRYREPAIRS 13.02: 015
SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul

THE HOTEL POEM
“LOOKING AT ISTANBUL”
THE TAXIS OF ISTANBUL
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