Song without Lyrics

Yesterday, I waited for you on the road
Where once we had strolled in the snow.
My eyes darkening in the wind,
Yesterday, I waited for you on that road!..

You had forgotten my name, I thought,
But, you said:
“The young man, has he still not forgotten me
As today he is there waiting for me?

Many lovers and beloved
Have waited thus for love.
But many are the lovers who long for
Evening to arrive on desolate roads.

Yahya Kemal Beyatlı (1884-1958). Güftesiz Beste. Translated from the Turkish.

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Look carefully at the atoms in the air, in the wilderness,
They are madly in love and uncertain like us.
Happy or sad, they all are
Moths of the sun of time immemorial that has no ties.

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

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Listen to the words of the rebec:
“To find a way, come, follow me,
You are a traveller on a winding path .
To find a way you must ask.”

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

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Love is fire: keeps burning me.
My heart is a river – elixir flows from you.
Yet, water is a mirage; fire is snow!
The tale is ended! Just a dream!

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

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Do not be convinced of anything,
Who knows what tomorrow brings,
Another darkness,
Another morning.

Omar Khayyam (1048 – 1131). Translated from the Turkish by A. Kadir.

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My Friend the Donkey

How many years since I left the village
So many seasons since we were last together
I haven’t heard from you
Are you offended, have you forgotten me

Yesterday, again, I thought about you, my eyes filled with tears
Those sweet days are a memory now
Separation has to be endured
My friend the donkey, I miss you so much

My friend don, my friend key, my friend the donkey

Wild ponies, do they skirmish in the meadow
The speckled rooster, does it fight with cats
The golden cow, has it weaned the tiny calf
Lambs and kids, do they play together

Wave your long ears for the last time
Send me news of all my old friends
Separation has to be endured
My friend the donkey, I miss you so much

My friend don, my friend key, my friend the donkey

Barış Manço (1943-1999). Lyrics and Music. Arkadaşım Eşek. Translated from the Turkish.

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The Sea in the Calendar

A longing for the sea
Is as deep as the sea.
And as endless…
In front of me, a used calendar…
No pages,
A picture of
A rough, vast sea;
No cares, free of thoughts,
It churns in the void.
A speck in the picture,
A listing ship…
Searching in the waters
The world it lost.
The picture felt real,
As in dreams,
I believed.
Carried away,
The foam in the picture
Struck my face.
I choked as if
Weeds were in my lungs.
Who could stop me?
The sea was my disquietude.
If it eluded me,
The fire of longing would burn me.
Surely, if I travelled
For the rest of my life,
I would reach the calendar’s sea.
What has happened to me?
How suddenly the breeze
Filled my room.
And the curtain billowed,
The papers took flight.
There is havoc in the room!
Oh, journeys, journeys!
How languid, faded
Is our complexion then.
How trembling is our heart
How resentful our possessions!
When we set out,
They line-up,
Wipe away their tears,
Secretly, they watch.
At that moment why
Are they as light as birds
And “shall we follow you”, they say?
Why do they,
All mute until that day,
Resurrect,
Scatter on our path?
Their hearts, like
Little insects, crawl
On the floor.
Instantly, the clock
Of a furtive squabble chimes;
One looks around,
Everything is jumbled.
No way to tell
A heart from a metatarsus;
And the heart, in tears,
Withdraws,
Deserts the chaos
Through which that day
I too had passed;
Whatever I had, home, mother,
Childhood, memories
And love,
I left behind,
As if fleeing from a fire.
The winds blowing,
Sorrowful,
The heart’s leaden load
Now light as feathers,
I migrated to the sea…

Necip Fazıl Kısakürek (1904-1983). Takvimdeki Deniz. Translated from the Turkish.

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