Happen to be Here

I was – what? – the sound of water
Hurting me like broken glass
The savour of sardines on the cheek
Who was that from summer or summer bound
A stranger, a saint
No, nor even a distant call.

The sun, does it set like the removal of a name
Are they the leaves of a burnt tree that tremble
What has remained from before or after
Who picked the wild figs from their branches
The ghost ships, who moored them
What is written, where about this strange confusion.

The stars, the enchanted land
A rock, a plant, a river that make me forget my name
Which summer singers’ chilling chorus
Takes ashore the dead
And throws the city into the depths of death
With the wilting of one rose, the fear of another’s blooming

Poems I’ve written, books I’ve read
A glass I took, remoulded it in my hands
Deep in thought for a while
Who has found their place, understood happiness
O after the rain, shadowy gardens, evening delights
Talk to me, since I happen to be here.

Edip Cansever (1928-1986). Gelmiş Bulundum. Translated from the Turkish.

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