The Thousand and First Night

I’ve come from foreign lands, tired, inn keeper,
Spread a mattress here, slowly…
Alas, my eyes mustn’t see the darkness!
Close the white curtains, slowly.

Oh, home, sweet home;
Oh, to embrace the family…
I’ll tell you everything,
Sit by my bedside, ask me, slowly.

From Haydarpaşa, the journey started.
Just managed to get a ticket…
Please inn keeper, from your bottle,
Give me a few more drops, slowly.

That night I wept and drank,
For two days flew from land to land…
Passed Niğde on the Kayseri road;
In the distance, Bor appeared, slowly.

I’m lonely and everywhere’s strange for me,
Troubled, oh, inn keeper, come on, pour!
Separation, a slight pain first,
Later saddens more, slowly.

I have her photograph, torn in two,
The door of my home for ten years shut!
A stranger, lonely and drunk,
Tells all his secrets, slowly.

Yes, inn keeper! I’m always like this,
For the rest, don’t ask and let me not tell!
Take away this empty glass,
Settle my account, slowly…

Bekir Sıtkı Erdoğan (1926-2014). Binbirinci Gece. Translated from the Turkish.

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