Poesia eta phrasal verbs/Poetry and phrasal verbs
I was born in the Basque country, Northern Spain in 1991, surrounded by the Pyrenees and the Cantabric Sea, yet not far from the Mediterranean. I was brought up by a family of poets who fed me books and songs until I left home at the age of 16. I came to London to study Chinese at SOAS in 2010, when London was a pool where all of us Europeans gathered. After graduating, I worked in Asia for several years, but I always wanted to come back to this city I was still calling home –London.
I started writing poetry during my year abroad in Beijing- I was very far from home, I had no one to talk my language (Basque) with and I felt that after 5 year abroad I was slowly losing it. As Basque had been for a long time an endangered language I could not let losing it within me, ‘a language is not lost because those who don’t know it don’t learn it, but because those who know it don’t use it’. Thus I started writing to keep closer to my childhood roots, creating a world of language intimacy in my poetry.
Here in the UK I’m surrounded by all the languages I had the pleasure to learn around my years abroad: I speak Spanish with my Argentinian flatmate, Chinese with the friends I met in Hong Kong that recently moved to the UK, Italian with my neighbours, Basque with my mother (on the phone) and my notebook, and English with all the rest of the people around. In that multiplicity of words, I feel comfortably at home and it could not happen anywhere else but here – in London.
The poem here aims to represent that mix of sounds, smells and belongings that are represented in my small grammar mistakes, accents, thoughts, misunderstandings and emotional contexts attached to particular words dancing together in my mind.
– Beatriz Chivite