Towards Freedom

Before daybreak,
The sea still whiter than white, set out.
In your palms, the passion for holding the oars;
Within you, the joy of achievement,
Go through the choppiness by the fishnets,
To be greeted by the fish.
You will be elated.
As you shake the nets,
Scale upon scale, the sea will come to your hands.
When the seagulls’ souls fall silent
In their graves on the rocks,
All of a sudden,
On the horizon, a tumult.
Is it mermaids, is it birds;
Is it festivals, promenades, revelry or celebrations?
Is it bridal processions, veils and braids, bunting and illuminations?
Don’t just stand there, go – into the sea;
If there’s someone left waiting, never mind;
Freedom everywhere, don’t you see;
Become a sail, rudder, fish or water;
Go, as far as you can, just go.

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

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