Winter Garden

How beautiful it was in the winter garden,
The sleep of roses working deep underground,
Preparing spring for you.

Like beauties in old tales,
Boughs and leaves,
Buried in dreams and sadness,
Sang lullabies for unborn children…
The air was the mother’s womb, hot and expectant;
The hidden pulse of the earth was beating
Like dough well fermented.

Clearly deep in the underground,
In the corridors of creation with no flicker of light,
Things were happening, things dark,
As they do
Among stars at night.
There was lightning, blue and clear,
Redder than blood, quieter than white,
More violent than violet.
The sorrow of violets, the joy of roses,
One after the other, getting ready like dawns.
The air was charged with this joy;
At the entrance to the future, hand in hand
Everything smiled.

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

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