Where is the island gone
The houses with their lights on
The boat, the castle. The chair.

Haiku. The Island. Lesbos.

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Tale

My child’s heart free of worries;
Radiant faces, abundant crops;
On horseback, a prince with a purple fringe:
My homeland, I began to forget.

Against my temple, my mother’s warm knee,
The fortune-teller’s words in my ears,
By the lake, the padishah’s three daughters,
Processions setting off for Mount Qaf.

Orhan Veli (1914-1950). Masal. Translated from the Turkish.

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No, not spring, this is another season.
Drowsy eyes meet different worlds.
Branches quiver,
Each in a different dance.

Rumi Jalaluddin Mevlana (1207-1273). Translated from the Turkish by Hasan Ali Yücel.

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The baby sleeping
Under the pine tree;
Tell me your dream.

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There are souls given strength through thought;
There are souls for lions in the forest.
Watch out! Thoughts are axes.
Don’t think too much, don’t be smitten by their blows.

Rumi, Jalaluddin Mevlana (1207-1273). Translated from the Turkish translation by Talat S. Halman.

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There is a road that goes from tongue to heart:
Look, all the secrets of the universe, the soul are on that road…
It is open as long as the tongue is silent;
But the tongue that speaks cruelly closes it.

Rumi, Jalaluddin Mevlana (1207-1273). Translated from the Turkish translation by Talat S. Halman.

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Birds and Boats

In transparent luminosity, to the heavens
Birds took wing.
The world they reached
Spread hope like feathers over the ground.

The dream in the brightly illuminated sea,
Took the boats, escaped far away.
A seaway – opened by a white sail –
Leads to the island where the boats sailed.

I bent over, picked up the feathers;
Felt the sadness of those that stay ashore.
But even if I stay put,

My heart tells me the pleasure of escape;
Birds and boats live in my dream,
My dream is with birds and boats.

Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı (1910-1956). Kuşlar ve Gemiler. Translated from the Turkish.

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