Intercepted by Mirrors

Don’t glare at me, mirrors;
Well, caught and handcuffed!
Unexpectedly you appeared before me,
A drumstick beats on my head.
On my face, each guilt has left its signature,
So, my greatest punishment is myself!
O boundless clarity, the divine court!
Pain you have imprisoned in my miserable shadow!
I’ve wasted the heavenly days.
Wiped out the sacred trust.
Time is tied to suns that don’t rise;
Will is in the teeth of the vile self.
Bundles of sins in the harvest fields;
Mercy beyond my guilt!
Could I close the shutters on the world,
Shed tears equaling the Flood?

I can’t come into view, mirrors are dungeons.
I can’t look, conscience is in the mirror;
Don’t wait for me, it was just a fancy;
I can’t come, mirrors intercept me.

Necip Fazıl Kısakürek (1904-1983). Aynalar Yolumu Kesti. Translated from the Turkish.

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Life or dream



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We walked like twin ghosts
In hazy light that spring day.
Watched on a hill at night
Clusters of stars falling into water.

Pleiades, Praesepe, Hyades,
Magical roses of the sky garden.
One by one, they flowered. The desolate night,
Retold in water, inspired, profound,

A world formed anew,
Imagination, thought, dream;
Your face a crystal glass
Reaching out to the luminance!

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (1901-1962). Gezinti. Translated from the Turkish.

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Union with the Beloved

Those asleep with the beloved, who
In this union, enjoy all the fortunes of life,
Do not see the dawn of the horizon;
Time is an endless pleasure for them.
Love’s primordial garden is their dream;
Every season is summer, every breeze unique,
The cries of nightingales are not heard in this joy,
Roses do not fade, nor moon set;
For all eyes, the sky is ever blue,
Equal are the rich and poor;
Love is refreshed in dreamy ponds,
Listening to the harmony of ever flowing water.

If ever a soul inhabits this verdant garden,
The beloved’s arms around one’s neck, the beloved in one’s arms,
Drifting in the perfume of her hair,
The enchantment of love is felt in each breath.
As if existence, strewn with stars,
Is now miraculously in the eyes,
Not to be deceived by the longest buss, thirsty as it kisses;
Since the joy that thirsts is the salt in the lips;
Whatever humans created comes from this thirst.
A secret, since we have within us the divine.

Those who are in gardens of roses aflame,
What chance, what place, brings them here one day?
Brought here by destiny,
Love has the desire of winds;
Their path… life’s path of light:
In an evening, what a heavenly race!
As the chariot arrives at full speed,
For the two lovers the horizon grows more boundless.
Their faces shine in victory,
Torches decorate the sky.

Those asleep with the beloved, who
Feel a heavenly joy in existence,
Forgetting the world;
If on the neglected hour the ruthless clock chimes,
Wakes them from their delightful sleep,
All becomes a pitch black dungeon.
Disastrous to wake to such a world,
Devastation, from day to day, with the pain of separation.
O fortune! Worse than even death is this darkness;
O love! Their hearts are yours now;
O union! To your charm, subjugate the lovers!
O sweet, sublime night! For years live on!

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

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Salaam from us to the beautiful world
Do roses still bloom in gardens
Salaam to the eternal sun and moon
Light and shadow, do they play in waters

So beautiful they were, snow, storm, blizzards
And the days passing by
We yearn for the clatter of wings
Do birds still fly in the blue sky

We are now far, far away from light
From the sound of children, from ivy and rose
We have become one way boats in the open sea
Is anyone asking our name, looking for us

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (1901-1962). Selam Olsun. Translated from the Turkish.

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Gleaming everywhere,
A rain of dust, hay dust.
Held back in my dream,
Sounds from the forest…

Such refinement,
The final word, from the harvest;
A golden key,
Sounds from the forest…

I have a riddle,
From more intricate times.
Deadlock, untangle!
Sounds from the forest…

In the background, cities
Of sparkle, of smoke,
Warmer than longing,
Sounds from the forest…

Flee, flee to seclusion,
From ahs and ohs!
The road to mount Qaf,
Sounds from the forest…

Lonelier than a star,
From a shoreless sea,
A message for outcasts,
Sounds from the forest…

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

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On a Starry Night

The sky calls out to us;
Come, do not suffer!
Our soul is eternal;
Feel it in a single syllable!

Life, an arid desert,
Break it down into a single day;
Appear and disappear like a dew drop,
On a starry night!

Necip Fazıl Kısakürek (1904-1983). Yıldızlı Bir Gecede. Translated from the Turkish.

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