john tiong chunghoo

Gold Star - 4,926 Points (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

Unesco Heritage Site Haiku - Berat And Gjirokastra, Albania - Poem by john tiong chunghoo

Berat's fortresses
still pointing over Ossum river
the cannons

Berat's fortresses
in all the quiet
of the Ossum river

Berat's Kala castle
as i pray, the sound
of the azan

Berat's Kala Castle
the colours of religius freedom
solidly laid out

tiered my feelings and
the houses on the slopes

Gjrokastra - we walk
the bazaar listening to
our own footsteps

Gjrokastra - we listen to
stories of wars in between
the churches and mosque

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Berat and Gjirokastra are inscribed as rare examples of an architectural character typical of the Ottoman period. Located in central Albania, Berat bears witness to the coexistence of various religious and cultural communities down the centuries. It features a castle, locally known as the Kala, most of which was built in the 13th century, although its origins date back to the 4th century BC. The citadel area numbers many Byzantine churches, mainly from the 13th century, as well as several mosques built under the Ottoman era which began in 1417. Gjirokastra, in the Drinos river valley in southern Albania, features a series of outstanding two-story houses which were developed in the 17th century. The town also retains a bazaar, an 18th-century mosque and two churches of the same period.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 8, 2012

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