Hello, Stranger Poems

Hello Me by Sezen Taka

3 October 2021

It’s a special thing to find a young poet already brimming with natural talent and the determined fire to express it. We haven’t spent enough time in the region cultivating those truly ‘fresh voices’, poets in their teens and twenties who could really use support and encouragement. How many young poets drift away? We need to nurture them now, not fifty years down the line. Artemia Juno Sezen Taka was born in Dumfries to English and Turkish parents, She spent her early years in the coastal village of Göcek, Turkey. She has already a very individual voice, as is evident in her poem and in the artistic statement she writes here:.

“I took after my father’s creative interest from the moment my co-ordination would allow my hand to grip, being artistically adept in all artistic mediums from traditional to digital, paint to pencil. My literary interest began as an extension to these artistic capabilities, fuelled by my frustration with the dull descriptions of my uninspired penmen peers and the lust to imprint paper and screen with the images from my vivid, unorthodox, imagination. Ideas were sparked by my father’s use of broken English, which turned everyday sentences into powerful verdicts, a technique used in my poetry.”

Here she reads ‘Hello Me’, addressing herself as a stranger in a three-way conversation with the world.

Hello Me

My head is a decoration

Supple and malleable

Marble skin awaits maintenance

Hands formulate


But I am not virtuous

I want to change

I want to modify

I am guided

By a lust to re-form

The thief of exhibition

That’s what they say

I float

On a sinking boat.

I hate most of me

All of you

I’m angry.

Unfamiliarity is my friend.

My day-wear?

A crown of thorns.

The series is curated by Hugh McMillan, poet and writer, Ambassador for the Scottish Poetry Library in 2020 and Editor of its anthology ‘Best Scottish Poems’ for 2021.