Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Beatriz Badikian: Mapmaker

I am Eratosthenes' heir -- the librarian
who measured earth. He took an obelisk,
a well, the sun, and made a triangle:
geometry, simple and accurate.

A cartographer of sorts -- I measure
earth with words. I have drawn roads
and made them impassable. I have laid
railroad tracks to serve as escape
routes. I have surveyed rivers and
seas by touch and taste. And yet,
I ignore my point of departure or
destination: only know the lands
that lie in between.

Growing up under an obelisk's shadow I
heard the story of genocide, of World
War II, read geography, poems,
swallowed them whole and learned -- but

this journey never ceases.
Mapmaking is a life-long task.

Beatriz Badikian Gartler was born in Buenos Aires
and has lived in Chicago since the early 1970s.

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