Ordeal

A voice is heard from the invisible world: This man
Is to carry around emptiness with him in the nape of his neck!
Suddenly the top of my head flew away;
The sky collapsed; fettered and fettered…

All hell had broken loose as I ran to the window!
You were right old woman!
Infinity, holding blue muslin;
From above, the hunter shot an arrow at me.

I tasted the fiery poison of the arrow.
Instantly, to ashes, the essence of my life it turned.
It felt as if my nose was touching the nose of the (nonexistent).
I vomited my skull from my own mouth.

The world churned like a glass of water;
Direction disappeared, emptiness collapsed.
Behold, truth; behold, dream!
Here is intoxication, here is reason!

An iron sledgehammer on the anvil of my neck,
I lay as a last resort face down on the bed.
The speckled rooster at flaming dawn,
Gave me a brand new world.

What is this world, hard to describe;
Surface its space, time its groundless fear.
The whole universe a decor made of linoleum,
The whole humanity surrendered to lies.

What are you? Even if you are the truth, go away!
Blindness, come fast, come, glass in the false eye!
Let each image settle inside me;
Teacher, friend, lover, country!

….

I wandered wrecked and confused for months;
My mind a ladle, myself a cauldron,
A little beyond the village of the insane,
Inside me every thought a pair of handcuffs.

Why do objects get smaller in the distance?
With no eyes, how do I dream?
What is the dance of time in a sphere?
I have an end they say, that foremost I should learn.

A thought that is acid on a fresh wound;
A thought that is a leech in the membrane of the brain.
I salute you, I salute you mighty torment;
The enchanted log that grew as it burnt.

I begged: Show a way out of this riddle
O seventh heaven, disclose your secrets!
Mothers’ prayers, fall down and become a mantle!
Cut a staff for me, old tree!

Sleep, a fountain even for killers;
Quilt, shelter even for the Godless.
Spring of consolation, bosom of patience;
Sherbet for you, for me a bowl of sand.

Is this the insanity that in my dreams, I devoured;
The shell that exploded looking for its secret?
Quivering on green grapevine, lust;
Palace of ants, bone-dry skull…

My soul riddled with scorpion stings;
Thus, I moved from season to season.
And saw not in fire nor in pincers,
Is there more pain than in torment by thoughts.

….

Yes, everything in me is a secret knot;
Such anguish have I suffered,
Such fears of fathomless skys.
Enough of distances!

The horizon is a fox, a runaway and clever;
Roads are a ball of thread, long and tangled.
The magician who makes up my dreams every night,
Is in front of me, holding a blue light.

Sorcerer, sorcerer what is your rancour against me?
In my den, what is this sulphurous smoke?
Your sword is sharper than glass, thinner than hair,
A poisonous splinter in my brain.

Dictionary, give me a name for the state I am in;
In a language everyone knows!
Hold my hand my old clothes;
Who am I ? Tell me mirrors!

Tell me, tell me , is it me,
The cow that holds the world on its horns?
The land the architect of trouble chose;
Immigrant from life, orphan of belongings.

I, who am a butterfly with wings of dust,
Loaded on my tiny body is the mountain of Qaf.
I am a minute mote with the highest heaven pregnant,
The cause of my terrible pain is that!

Neither in lies nor in truth is
The embroidery I see when I close my eyes.
In vain have I wandered, not in nature
Are there such rises and falls as within me.

Like falling into a hole at night,
I fell suddenly into the lap of truth.
It seemed as if I had solved the riddle
Of both the past and the future.

Open sesame! The door opened;
On his satin divan, sat the wise old man.
Burnt down is the glass palace, the divine design,
Into infinity with chandeliers one thousand and one.

In atoms revelry, bunting and celebration;
And divine light all around, and divine light all around.
Designs one within the other, selves one within the other;
I know you now O Lord, the renowned unknown!

The order is in a rage, tides in the sea;
The order is in a rage, water up to my chin.
In the water, a secret way, a glittering trace;
In the water, the feeling of no end, the thought of no beginning.

Transport me, harmony; take me, unity;
No more can I exist as a shadow.
Let the puny be the poet, give him the poetry,
On grand craftsmanship my eyes are now.

Lands far away, far away, the object of my aim;
My crop is distance, time my mine.
The Milky Way should belong to me;
And the pearls in the fathomless lake.

Kneel down in front of me, O powerful self!
My saddle-bag, bunches and balls, is full of life.
You, the root where all branches have unity;
My sole concern is to attain infinity…

Necip Fazıl Kısakürek (1905-1983). Çile. Translated from the Turkish.

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