Memories

I wonder, memories,
What you want from me,
When spring comes?

Why flap wings,
Tap the window,
O old memories?

Do not imagine roses bloom,
It is not the nightingale that sings,
This is a different wind.

What do you want from me,
I wonder, memories,
When spring comes?

Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı (1910-1956). Hatıralar. Translated from the Turkish.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happen to be Here

I was – what? – the sound of water
Hurting me like broken glass
The savour of sardines on the cheek
Who was that from summer or summer bound
A stranger, a saint
No, nor even a distant call.

The sun, does it set like the removal of a name
Are they the leaves of a burnt tree that tremble
What has remained from before or after
Who picked the wild figs from their branches
The ghost ships, who moored them
What is written, where about this strange confusion.

The stars, the enchanted land
A rock, a plant, a river that make me forget my name
Which summer singers’ chilling chorus
Takes ashore the dead
And throws the city into the depths of death
With the wilting of one rose, the fear of another’s blooming

Poems I’ve written, books I’ve read
A glass I took, remoulded it in my hands
Deep in thought for a while
Who has found their place, understood happiness
O after the rain, shadowy gardens, evening delights
Talk to me, since I happen to be here.

Edip Cansever (1928-1986). Gelmiş Bulundum. Translated from the Turkish.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trip

On a boat to Çubuklu* from Kandilli*;
Just the sound of oars.
Are we today spending a pleasant time?
Or, is time spending us?
Why now these endless thoughts?

On one side, the space of the borderless sky;
On the other, time that forever continues.
With contradictory thoughts, one murmurs.
Now the ripple, now the depths,
Sometimes, “Time doesn’t pass”, unhappily, one says.

To my wandering heart, be calm, I said,
Shake off sad feelings one by one!
In the September solace, to Çubuklu, on your way,
Have no sense of times to come, passing and passed,
Gently row the boat, the moonlight mustn’t be disturbed!

Yahya Kemal (1884-1958). Gezinti. Translated from the Turkish.

*Districts in the Bosphorus in Istanbul.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In

Seas we have, in sunshine;
Trees in leaf;
We move between them,
To and fro, day and night,
In want.

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

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flight

A shoreless sea, the soul flying, never landing;
Was he such a bird, Noah in the flood?
Cloud-laden, the sky above;
Below, the powerful sea, foamy from eternity.
The sea troubled, unaware of their numbers,
Millions of waves chase millions of waves;
Its constant uproar, a song, spread far;
Calls in millions, millions of sounds.
As the soul flies high in the land of stars,
It begins to see the world it dreamt about.
Only high in the sky can it be fed.
From feelings imaginings take wing.
Only at this height is there boundless flight.
The soul, the bird with steel wings,
No land in sight on its skyline,
The sea, free, the sky, free, towards free horizons, it flies.

Yahya Kemal (1884-1958). Uçuş. Translated from the Turkish.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Know a River

I know a river
That quietly runs;
Day-time sees the sun,
Night-time, the stars.
Spring on both sides,
Rainbows, its bridges.

Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı (1910-1956). Bir Nehir Bilirim. Translated from the Turkish.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pinwheel

From everywhere, the scent of roses,
Drifting with the breeze from distant gardens.
Winds from the west, north east, east and south
Tempt my soul away.

Where, I wonder, is the secret Spring?
The wind, where does it get this fragrance?
Are there other climates?
Neither dawn nor twilight tell.

Horizons call me some days,
Towards the land of love, the journey starts;
A child, a petalled pinwheel in his hand,
Is blowing it, looking at my face.

Ahmet Kutsi Tecer (1901-1967). Rüzgargülü. Translated from the Turkish.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment