Tag Archives: Atlas

The shapes of Lesvos

Lesbos, or Lesvos. Shaped, as written by Odysseas Elytis, like a platanus leaf, which “some god, in order to have his fun, severed and blew away in the middle of the ocean”. I see more of a resemblance with a fig … Continue reading

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The shape of Lampedusa (reprise)

(Written following a trip to Lampedusa, two years after writing The shape of Lampedusa – part 1) After having visited Lampedusa, I see four new shapes in its map. As suggested by this mural on the side of a children’s … Continue reading

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Christmas Island

Christmas Island, located at 10°30′S 105°40′E, 500 km south of Java in the east Indian Ocean. An Australian territory since 1957. Area 135 km2, population 2,072 (as of 2011). A place where several migrations intersect: Chinese and Malay ‘coolies’ (i.e. migrant … Continue reading

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Robben Island

For the past ten days, I haven’t been living where I’m living. I searched for Robben Island on the map, and I’ve been absorbed ever since. Area 5.07 km², pretty much flat, 12 km north-north-west of Cape Town in Table … Continue reading

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Poem to the Senkaku/Diaoyutai mole

There’s a photo-tagging war raging around the Senkaku / Diaoyu / Tiaoyutai Islands on Google Earth, and it’s hilarious. Many of the photographs are accompanied by messages more or less well parsed by machine translation, often with exclamation marks in … Continue reading

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Out of place – or to return without returning

Eppure l’Italia è una parola aperta, piena d’aria. Erri de Luca, Solo andata (Nota di geografia) Map after map, we’re accustomed to seeing the Italian peninsula as a boot, perhaps for the catwalk, perhaps for the football pitch, or simply … Continue reading

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The shape of Lampedusa

(Notes for a future ‘Atlas‘ poem) The island of Lampedusa has some highly intriguing shapes. A door snail, peeking out of its elongated shell, checking if it’s safe to slide out. The head of a shrew, looking the other way, … Continue reading

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