SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul
ET TU, BRUTE?
THE CROWS OF THE SULTAN'S PALACE
TOWER OF GALETA
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ET TU,  BRUTE? THE CROWS OF THE SULTAN'S PALACE TOWER OF GALETA  

ET TU,  BRUTE?
In the section of the museum designated as the Sultan's Costumes the richly bejeweled caftans/coats of a dozen or more sultans are on display. Here are marvelous examples of the Turkish weaver´s art— seraser, fabric threaded with gold: çatma, Bursa velvet with silk canfe and atlas. In one glass case, glowing in scarlet and gold resplendence, there is an embroidered çatma caftan that was once worn by Mehmet the Conqueror, Upon death, the garments of the deceased sultan were wrapped carefully in silks and velvets and placed in his mausoleum. The robes and jackets were thus kept for years until the occasion of their display here. A neat placard in English discreetly calls your attention to the rents in one or two of the items of clothing, slits edged with a faint staining where was thrust the assassin's knife that brusquely terminated that particular well-dressed sultan's reign. (As few women had mausoleums, no woman's raiment has been preserved .)
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ET TU,  BRUTE? THE CROWS OF THE SULTAN'S PALACE TOWER OF GALETA  


THE CROWS OF THE SULTAN'S PALACE
Anthracite eyes study passing tourists from tree and wall. Harsh caws fall from sharp ivory beaks like china plates flung to shiver against the stone walks. One of the huge black birds, perched high on a tree limb, half opens silver-grey wings and hops down a branch, cocking his head to follow my passage with beady eyes, then caws loudly, "Awww, awwww, awwww!" His ringing calls awaken in me some atavistic memory and I visualize a battlefield a thousand years or more in the past, perhaps the one the Crusaders called "The Field of Blood," sprawling under the callous rays of the Asiatic sun, echoing with the faint voices of grievously wounded men calling for water, for a companion, for the mercy of death. The weapons then were lance and broadsword and battle-axe, great armored steeds trained to attack with teeth and hooves. I imagine the sobbing whinny of a crippled, riderless horse, as it stumbles, white-eyed, reins dragging, across the sandy terrain. I see ravens dropping to the ground by the side of a distant form, a feeble hand raised vainly to thrust them away, as the mocking cries of the grey-winged crows of Istanbul continue to beat in my ears --- "Awwww! Awwww! Awwww!"
SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul
POETRYREPAIRS 13.02: 023
Poetry endangers the established order  of the soul - Plato

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ET TU,  BRUTE? THE CROWS OF THE SULTAN'S PALACE TOWER OF GALETA  


TOWER OF GALETA
On the Asian side of Istanbul the Tower of Galeta, built by merchants from Genoa in the 13th century, is dimly visible through the winter haze. A long, low bridge, set on pontoons - the Galeta bridge - crosses the Bosporus, linking Europe with Asia. The approach to the tower is a maze of constricted, cobbled streets; supposedly wicked Vlad the Impaler, father of the vampire legend, is buried beneath one of these twisting lanes. The massive tower rises to a height of ten stories, far taller than any surrounding buildings, and is sufficiently large to shelter the entire neighborhood of Genovese merchants and artisans in moments of danger. The sultans permitted the wily Genovese this space, recognizing the usefulness of the Italians to further the trade of silks and spices brought from Asia to Constantinople, from Constantinople to all of Europe. We ascend in a modern elevator, go through glass doors onto the narrow walk that circles the tower. The view encompasses the city as far as the eye can see; the Golden Horn stretches left and right -- and although the cold is unmerciful and a light drizzle brushes our faces, we brave the winds and mist for nearly an hour, circling the steep ramparts of the old tower again and again, caught in the beauty of the panorama spread before us.
SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul
POETRYREPAIRS 13.02: 023
SUE LITTLETON: Poems of Istanbul

ET TU, BRUTE?
THE CROWS OF THE SULTAN'S PALACE 
TOWER OF GALETA
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