SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul
THE BLUE MOSQUE
THE CLOCKS
THE JUDGMENT CHAMBER
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THE BLUE MOSQUE THE CLOCKS THE JUDGMENT CHAMBER  

THE BLUE MOSQUE
A thousand years after the Hagia Sofia, a sultan ordered that a Mosque be built to the same design, directly across from the Byzantine edifice. The same incredible feeling of space and light greets the visitor, the awesome breadth of the heavenly ceiling spanning an improbable amount of empty space, seemingly suspended in air by the hands of the angels. The stained glass windows sparkle like handfuls of sapphires thrust into the walls.
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I have many things to write unto you but   I will not write with pen and ink
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THE BLUE MOSQUE THE CLOCKS THE JUDGMENT CHAMBER  


THE CLOCKS
Originally banned by the Koran from all expressions of representative art so appreciated in the Western, infidel world, envoys turned to gifts of incredible mechanical toys to please the jaded Sultan (and encourage the Vizier, the Sultan´s regent, to permit commerce between their countries). One entire room in the museum is filled with an infinite variety of Clocks: baroque musical clocks. mantel clocks run by whirling golden spheres, clocks in ostentatious cases of precious metals studded with jewels. One magnificent English specimen is set in a tower of gold and mother-of-pearl. In the 19th century European clocks, brought as gifts by fawning foreign ambassadors so captivated successive Sultans that elaborate timepieces from France and England, Germany and elsewhere, were commissioned by the royalty of other nations. As I walk slowly past the glass cases, decorative clock faces gaze mutely at me, and I long to seize a winding key, go from clock to clock, winding each timepiece one after the other, urging ancient springs and wheels into merry tick-tocks, swaying pendulums, wheezing organ music from moth-eaten bellows, chimes, tinkling music box tunes! Poor clocks, those wondrous devices created to measure our most precious intangible, here locked away forever in lasting, unnatural silence.
SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul
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Poetry endangers the established order  of the soul - Plato

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THE BLUE MOSQUE THE CLOCKS THE JUDGMENT CHAMBER  


THE JUDGMENT CHAMBER
In the photo I stand before the sultan's audience chamber, recalling my guided visit through various sections of the sultan's quarters: the galleried reflecting pool, exquisitely appointed apartments; high, elaborately tiled ceilings and panels so heavy with gilt and ceramic the eyes tire of looking. The outside walls of the harem area are as lavishly decorated as those inside. Occasionally, during the `slow decline of the Ottoman Empire, having yielded his responsibilities to his Grand Vizier, the reigning sultan would observe unseen the procedures of his court- Munching dates and sweetmeats, perhaps in the embrace of his current favorite, he would lie on high-piled silk rugs behind the delicate wooden lattice that abuts on the audience chamber from the harem itself. Today, in that chamber where, at the height of the Ottoman ascendency the Grand Viziers reported to their rulers, those magnificent sultans of old— where in later centuries the Grand Vizier himself held sway, exercised the power of his office, sending miscreants and enemies to a bloody death; received humbled foreign dignitaries bearing priceless gifts to appease the sultan— there looms the red lacquered, canopied imperial throne, the size of a small room, installed by Mehmet III when he was Sultan Now the regal chair stands as empty as it did during the epoch of the faltering, once-glorious empire and its decadent potentates
SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul
POETRYREPAIRS 13.02: 022
SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul

THE BLUE MOSQUE
THE CLOCKS
THE JUDGMENT CHAMBER
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