What Have You Done, Mom?

Who told you to give birth to your baby, mom?
Did I misbehave a lot inside your belly?
I never asked you for crown or castle;
Inside you I lived, I was happy enough.

You gave birth to me, but why bring me up?
Bundle, cradle, was I too much trouble, then?
Why not keep your baby in your arms?
Didn’t you know it was afraid of being alone?

Is life sweeter than your milk, mom?
Is it a talent, to live, mom, why not ask me?
Plead to the day, surrender to the night.
Is it worth wasting a life for!

Inside you I lived, I was happy enough!
Crown or castle, I never asked for, mom!
Did I misbehave a lot inside your belly, mom?
Who told you to give birth to your baby, mom?

Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı (1910-1956). Anne, Ne Yaptın? Translated from the Turkish.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Furniture

Furniture that takes
Terrible shapes when night comes,

Furniture that makes me
Shiver, fear,

Furniture that watches me
As I lose my temper,

Furniture whose eyes stay on me
Till the morning,

You could have told me,
– Your secret has become my worry-

Is each of you a wind,
Not moving, frozen?

Like me, do you think,
Dream, weep?

I believe you exist
Do you?

Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı (1910-1956). Eşya. Translated from the Turkish.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memories

I wonder, memories,
What you want from me,
When spring comes?

Why flap wings,
Tap the window,
O old memories?

Do not imagine roses bloom,
It is not the nightingale that sings,
This is a different wind.

What do you want from me,
I wonder, memories,
When spring comes?

Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı (1910-1956). Hatıralar. Translated from the Turkish.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trip

On a boat to Çubuklu* from Kandilli*;
Just the sound of oars.
Are we today spending a pleasant time?
Or, is time spending us?
Why now these endless thoughts?

On one side, the space of the borderless sky;
On the other, time that forever continues.
With contradictory thoughts, one murmurs.
Now the ripple, now the depths,
Sometimes, “Time doesn’t pass”, unhappily, one says.

To my wandering heart, be calm, I said,
Shake off sad feelings one by one!
In the September solace, to Çubuklu, on your way,
Have no sense of times to come, passing and passed,
Gently row the boat, the moonlight mustn’t be disturbed!

Yahya Kemal (1884-1958). Gezinti. Translated from the Turkish.

*Districts in the Bosphorus in Istanbul.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In

Seas we have, in sunshine;
Trees in leaf;
We move between them,
To and fro, day and night,
In want.

Orhan Veli (1914-1950). İçinde. Translated from the Turkish.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flight

A shoreless sea, the soul flying, never landing;
Was he such a bird, Noah in the flood?
Cloud-laden, the sky above;
Below, the powerful sea, foamy from eternity.
The sea troubled, unaware of their numbers,
Millions of waves chase millions of waves;
Its constant uproar, a song, spread far;
Calls in millions, millions of sounds.
As the soul flies high in the land of stars,
It begins to see the world it dreamt about.
Only high in the sky can it be fed.
From feelings imaginings take wing.
Only at this height is there boundless flight.
The soul, the bird with steel wings,
No land in sight on its skyline,
The sea, free, the sky, free, towards free horizons, it flies.

Yahya Kemal (1884-1958). Uçuş. Translated from the Turkish.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment