Daily Archives: December 14, 2008

Here we are at the edge of the water the sycamore and I

blac-red tulips, Istanbul Tulip Festival, Emirgan park of Istanbul, Pentax K10D

blac-red tulips, Istanbul Tulip Festival, Emirgan park of Istanbul, Pentax K10D

The Tale Of  Tales

Here we are at the edge of the water

the sycamore and I.

Our forms appear in the water

the sycamore’s and mine.

The water casts light back on us

the sycamore and me.

Here we are at the edge of the water

the sycamore and I, and with us a cat.

Our forms appear in the water

the sycamore’s and mine and the cat’s.

The water casts light back on us

the sycamore, me, and the cat.

Here we are at the edge of the water

the sycamore and I, the cat—and the sun.

Our forms appear in the water

the sycamore’s and mine, the cat’s and the sun’s.

The water casts light back on us

the sycamore and me, the cat and the sun.

Here we are at the edge of the water,

the sycamore and I, the cat and the sun with all that we are.

Our forms appear in the water

the sycamore’s and mine, the cat’s and the sun’s with all that we are.

The water casts light back on us

the sycamore and me, the cat and the sun and all that we are.

Here we are at the edge of the water

the sycamore and I, the cat and the sun with all that we are.

First the cat will go

and its form will disappear from the water.

I will go next

and my form will disappear from the water.

Then the sycamore will go

and its form will disappear from the water.

Then the water will go

and the sun will be left

but then it too will go.

Here we are at the edge of the water

the sycamore and I, the cat and the sun with all that we are.

The water is cool

the sycamore magnificent

I am writing poetry

the cat dozing.

The sun is warm—

how wonderful to be alive.

The water casts light back on us

the sycamore and me, the cat and the sun and all that we are.

Nazım Hikmet

translated by Jean Carpenter Efe


nobody knew who they were, flower of misery in the night was the clock at the station

black tulips, Istanbul Tulip Festival, Istanbul, pentax k10d

black tulips, Istanbul Tulip Festival, Istanbul, pentax k10d

Flower Of Misery

exhausted they were at the Alsancak Train Station
flower of misery in the night was the clock at the station
nothing existed but themselves
a treacherous trembling seized the man
his hands were torn they were handcuffed
his wife was carrying his bag

nobody knew who they were
flower of misery in the night was the clock at the station
they got on a third-class car
it became clear the man would go
they seemed to have given up something
try what he may he couldn’t look at his wife

standing they smoked cheap cigarettes
flower of misery in the night was the clock at the station
they had already fallen in solitude
past and future in darkness
suddenly they turned pale
quietly the cars began moving

Atilla İlhan

“Belâ Cicegi,” Belâ Cicegi (1983)

translated by Suat Karantay,  Sedat Çilingir

I undressed you with my own hands, like the spring

yellow-red tulips, Istanbul Tulip Festival, Istanbul, Pentax K10D

yellow-red tulips, Istanbul Tulip Festival, Istanbul, Pentax K10D

The Tulip

I undressed you with my own hands, like the spring

Laying the petals open

Your haste was all seeds like a pomegranate.

O the singing forest of sighs

The heart of kisses and glances

Questions in its fresh silence.

The roof of your desire floated in the sky

It was humming yellow butterflies

When every inch of you burst out.

I tied you down with my teeth

Like a greedy silkworm

Your redness was a crescent

Two petals of a tulip on the sheets.

Melih Cevdet Anday

translated by  Şehnaz Tahir Gürçaylar