Dalhousie Poets: aftershock

After the earthquake: an ode to Izmir

Editor’s note: This piece was written after the earthquake in Izmir, Turkey on Oct. 30, 2020. For more information on ways you can help with the relief efforts, please see the following links: https://www.akut.org.tr/en/donationhttps://donate.tpfund.org/campaign/izmir-turkey-earthquake-relief-fund/c309729  

The city of Izmir, Turkey was struck by a magnitude seven earthquake on Oct. 30, 2020. (Photo by Gokce On)


i cried for hours today 

as i felt the waves of pain going through my body 

not physical 

but mental, emotional 

looking at my city 

how beautiful and untroubled it had seemed 

just a couple hours ago 

the way everything changes in a matter of moments 

dust settling where an apartment building used to be 

the now foreign  

conversations with neighbours 

turned into corpses  

the rising of the sea 

desperation, death, delirium 

women in the street, screaming as they hold their children 

my dear city 

i’m sorry — you didn’t deserve this 

i’m sorry — the crying and the wallowing 

won’t rebuild your buildings 

won’t save your people 

nor will they help protect you. 

the tears will only help us process 

as the city rebuilds itself 

and things start falling back to their usual rhythm, 

as the people heal, 

until we can once again take the ease of this city  

for granted. 

“Dalhousie poets” is a rotating column in the Gazette’s Art & Lifestyle section featuring poetry by students on various subjects. Interested in submitting your verse? Email arts@dalgazette.com. 

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