And What’s an Actor After All

And what’s an actor after all? While acting, we are.
When no more, our voice just a nice sound in the sky.
Fades away after a while.
At most, we are pale visions in old programmes.

I see you are all ready to rush to the cloakroom.
The theater will be empty soon,
But, actually, that’s when it comes alive:
Affixed to a curtain, one of Satenik’s songs,
Absorbed by the balustrade, one of my monologues,
A Hiranuş and Virjinya dialogue in the tear of an old costume.

Yes, in the stillness, these images come out of hiding
And again pour onto the stage as whispers.
We’re not there, no audience.
But our lines till dawn keep whispering to each other.

The day breaks, cleaners arrive, lines escape to their places.


Haldun Taner (1915-1986). The final lines in the play “Sersem Koca’nın Kurnaz Karısı” (The Clever Wife of the Foolish Husband). Translated from the Turkish.

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