One After Another

One after another and almost endless
At every turn a different loneliness
A different sea,
The miracle of the moment, continuation, repetition
And the revelry of each brightness.
In waves this music devours us
Through the mirror of thousands of stillnesses
One after another and almost endless,
The distant, forgotten crackling
Of which evenings, who knows…

At the threshold of denial and admission
As if unified time and space
Every thing at the instant of formation
And the self is so much itself
That on the edge of the precipice
It is the mind’s adventure!
It seems to await
One after another and almost endless,
Awaits the lightning that will tear open
The night’s veiled brightness.

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (1901-1962). Üst Üste. Translated from the Turkish.

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A Rose in This Darkness

A rose, in this darkness,
To stillness offers itself,
Like a coral wine glass
Through the alley of time.

At the helm of this miracle,
Sounds, scents and colours,
Which profound, remote
Dream is awaited, I wonder.

A voice clearer than dawn
Making the night more tender,
Shivers ,
“Here are all your tears!

Let this hopeless plea
Not be quenched
By fruits or fountains
Nor by the flow of days!

Wouldn’t it be enough for you, the good news,
If your brow I illumine,
I, the caravan of stars
That moves all dreams to time!”

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (1901-1962). Bir Gül Bu Karanlıklarda. Translated from the Turkish.

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The Day Breaks

Night unseals its lips..
Shadows disperse into depths
Taking the magic of secrets:
Over the city, the day breaks.

Chimneys timorously take shape,
Over the city, the day breaks;
With sleepy eyes, hawks
Gaze at the day’s eyes.

The poplar sways its boughs;
Rises to its usual place.
In twilight blue,
Over the city, the day breaks.

Over the city, the day breaks,
Full of colours, everywhere.
Houses with untidy faces
Watch the street lamp that still burns.

Slowly the earth moves,
Over the city, the day breaks,
On the lily-white night flowers
At dawn a tear-drop falls.

And like a sea storm,
Over the city, the day breaks.

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

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That’s Youth

A voice everyday shakes my heart,
Repeats, whenever the clock strikes:
“What about your land, where is your harvest?
Empty-handed, will you go into the night?
You’re half way through life, just think!
It comes and goes, that’s youth;
Despondent and dismayed, you’re left;
From window to window, you run.”

O the days I did not appreciate,
The bouquet of roses thrown away, not smelt,
The fountain, its water wasted,
The blowing wind, the sails not raised!
Yet, the waters flow westward,
In the trees, the nightingale’s song is changed,
Shadows settle on my window;
O memoirs, your days are beginning.

Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı (1910-1946). Gençlik Böyledir İşte. Translated from the Turkish.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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