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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Snowing

Don’t turn the lamps on, leave them,
Let not a fair-haired head
From the window touch the snow.
It snows into darkness.
It snows and I remember.
Snow…
The huge lights turning off like blown out candles…
And the city is left blinded
Under the falling snow.

Don’t turn the lamps on, leave them!
Memories that stab the heart
Are dumb, I understand.
It snows
And I remember.

Nazım Hikmet (1961-1963)

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Friendship

You learn our news without hearing it from us,
From a seven years long road, you arrive on wings.
You know the language of our eyes,
The secrets of our hands.
You smile like an open book,
Dry the sweat on our faces.
That one goes, this one goes,
Friendship, you stay beside us.

Nazım Hikmet (1901-1963). Dostluk. Translated from the Turkish.

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Thoughts

After a troublesome journey, I’ve reached seventy.
I delve into the past on the hill where I stand.

One person on a sphere rotating for millions of years;
The story of seventy years, should it know the past?

Everywhere there are narrators of life;
But reflective people are tired of stories.

They say hundreds of philosophers know the truth;
Some are uncertain, in doubt, some hollow;

Most are unclear.
Khayyam is said to whisper the truth, more or less.

Yahya Kemal Beyatlı (1884-1958). Düşünüş. Translated from the English.

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