All My Life I Loved My Father Best Of All


red tulips

red tulips

All My Life I Loved My Father Best Of All

All my life I loved my father best of all.
The way a child sprouting like gorse from a cliff,
With legs bowed – about to tumble any minute –
Would run in the trail of a giant,
That’s how I loved that philandering father of mine.

What neighbourhood we lived in, he could never say:
Always busy, in a rush; if he dropped by, he’d dash away,
I’d look up in my atlas the places for which he’d depart:
That way I learned exile and longing by heart.

How I’d fly with joy: sickness was the best …
If my fever zoomed past 40, they’d call him to Istanbul,
After all, wouldn’t he want to bid farewell to his son?
Ours was a love game: when typhoid fever struck, I won:
I said Ohh, and buried my nose in his chest.

Until he went on the inspection tour that was his last,
I ran after that giant flying to heaven,
For other kinds of passion, for loves so vast
My breath opened up, my mind, my inmost soul.
All my life I loved my father best of all.
Can Yücel

Translated by Talat HALMAN

Hayatta Ben En Çok Babamı Sevdim

Hayatta ben en çok babamı sevdim
Karaçalılar gibi yardan bitme bir çocuk
Çarpık bacaklarıyla -ha düştü, ha düşecek-
Nasıl koşarsa ardından bir devin
O çapkın babamı ben öyle sevdim

Bilmezdi ki oturduğumuz semti
Geldi mi de gidici-hep, hep acele işi! –
Çağın en güzel gözlü maarif müfettişi
Atlastan bakardım nereye gitti
Öyle öyle ezberledim gurbeti

Sevinçten uçardım hasta oldum mu
40’ı geçerse ateş, çağrırlar İstanbul’a
Bir helalleşmek ister elbet, diğ’mi, oğluyla!
Tifoyken başardım bu aşk oyununu
Ohh dedim, göğsüne gömdüm burnumu

En son teftişine çıkana değin
Koştururken ardından o uçmaktaki devin
Daha başka tür aşklar, geniş sevdalar için
Açıldı nefesim, fikrim, canevim
Hayatta ben en çok babamı sevdim.

Can Yücel
taken by Pentax K10D, at Istanbul

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