Lefke Automatic / Destiny of Love
“This is lovely, moving work, with a sense of mystery, and the possibility of unexpected discovery, forever at hand. At times open ended, elusive, and abstract, Yusuf Misdaq’s poems can also be bold, emphatic, and unafraid.”
– Khaled Hosseini (Author of The Kite Runner)
This 6th installment of Yusuf Misdaq’s poetry series takes a completely unexpected turn. The book begins as a poetic travelogue of a journey to the small Mediterranean village named in the books title; there Misdaq visits a living Saint of the Sufi tradition. The literary and poetic descriptions of this amazing and mysterious man are lively and enticing, leaving the reader feeling like Misdaq’s travel partner, if not intimate friend. More broadly speaking, for anyone who has ever returned from a holiday feeling uplifted, inspired and refreshed (and is aware of the precious, fleeting nature of this lovely feeling) this book enters into must-have territory. Not only is the brief (15 pages or so) description of the journey itself cataloged in rich language, with evocative colors, emotions, history and culture (there is even a glossary of terms and preface), but most inspiring of all, the author tries relentlessly to extend that special ‘post-holiday high’ in the second half of the book which takes place after returning home (or, “Back to the fake real world,” as Misdaq puts it).
At this point each poem (and occasional ‘song’) becomes more and more vivid than the last, and the dazzled reader will be left wondering how on Earth this poet is capable of conjuring up such unexpectedly metaphysical meanings from everyday city phenomena like cigarettes, tissue paper, mobile phones, parking spaces and trains. Finally, the ‘Destiny of Love’ mentioned in the title is indeed a poetic love story that happens to take on the form of traditional Sufi poetry, that of falling in love just as the Spring of 2010 arrives. It is a perfect and well-described backdrop to fit the themes of the work.
Lefke Automatic is clearly Misdaq’s best attempt yet at catching the butterfly of life’s beauty in his madly foraging, relentless, style-shifting net. At once the calmest, most personal, and deepest of all the previous books, this magic edition is for anybody truly interested in implementing spirituality and inspiration in their daily lives.