Listening to Istanbul

Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul;
First, a light breeze blows;
On the trees, leaves
Gently flutter;
Far, far away,
The ceaseless tinkling of watersellers’ bells;
Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul.

Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul;
Birds fly by;
Flocks, shrill cries high above.
Nets pulled from fish weirs;
A woman’s feet touch water;
Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul.

Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul;
Cool, cool Covered Bazaar;
The hustle and bustle of Mahmutpaşa;
Courtyards filled with doves.
From docks, the sound of hammers,
On the lovely spring breeze, the smell of sweat;
Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul.

Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul;
Intoxicated with days gone by,
A waterside mansion with its boathouse;
In the soughing of the dying south winds,
Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul.

Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul;
On the pavement a coquette goes past;
Swear words, insinuations, songs.
From her hand something falls;
Must be a rose;
Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul.

Eyes closed, listening to Istanbul;
A bird flutters around your skirt;
Your brow, is it warm? I know;
Your lips, are they moist? I know;
Behind the hazelnuts, a white moon is rising;
From the beating of your heart I know;
I am listening to Istanbul.

Orhan Veli (1914-1950). Istanbul’u Dinliyorum. Translated from the Turkish.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s