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TURKISH POETRY TODAY 2013


TURKISH POETRY TODAY

2013

R路H路B 2013


Turkish Poetry Today is published annually by Red Hand Books, England. This compilation copyright © 2013, Red Hand Books. All rights in the works printed here revert to the authors, translators and original copyright holders after publication.

Editor: GEORGE MESSO Advisory Editors: ŞENOL BEZCİ, Ankara University. T. KENNY FOUNTAIN, Case Western Reserve University. FAHRİ ÖZ, Ankara University.

www.turkishpoetrytoday.com turkishpoetrytoday@gmail.com

ISBN 978-0-9575977-0-9 Copyright © Red Hand Books, 2013


Contents

POLAT ONAT BEJAN MATUR NECMİ ZEKÂ ZEYNEP KÖYLÜ MELİH CEVDET ANDAY MURATHAN MUNGAN Notes on Contributors

7 19 75 105 133 143 147


POLAT ONAT Translated by Nesrin Eruysal & Ken Fifer


Turkish Poetry Today

Deniz

biten günler donuk başlayacaklar sabırsız ilerler derinliğine kalbin ıslak ve umutlu süzülerek birbiri ardınca çarpan dalgalar kaptansız gemiye güvertedeki kayıp kovayla eksiltiyor gökyüzünü mesafelerin iç içe geçmişliği yaklaştırır nesneleri vakit geçmek bilmiyor sona ererken hayat yoktur kimseciği denizin hep uzak sahiller.

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Turkish Poetry Today

The Sea the sea’s tedious night and day advancing on the heart’s interior in wet and hopeful waves washing silently over the ship without a captain emptying the sky by using the stranded bucket on deck closing the distance at first suddenly heavy spilling away coasts always too far apart.

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BEJAN MATUR Translated by Ruth Christie & Selรงuk Berilgen


Turkish Poetry Today

Sonsuzluk Bekçisi

I. Harfler ve işaretler boyunca fısıldanan Söylendi bana. Onuncu yüzyılda bir yer Bir zirve. Allaha yakın o durakta beklemekte biri. Bir kaide aramakta kainat için. Ve yedinci levhada beliren kaide Tanrının şefkatidir.

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Infinity’s Watchman I. Whispered to me through letters and signs; in the tenth century a place, a peak. Waiting at the stop near Allah is one who seeks a base for the cosmos. And the base that appears on the seventh sign is the mercy of God.

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Turkish Poetry Today

II.

Duydum işte! Merakım öldürmedi beni. Yeryüzünün haritaları Henüz cenin maviliğinde ve belirsizken Kainata sordum sorumu. Ve duydum sesi. Uzak galaksilerin çakışması Bir müzik olarak fısıldandı bana. Böylece kapılar açıldı. Göğün altı katında beliren Ve yedide mana bulan Göründü bana. Olacağı gördüm. Bakışım ulaştı Allaha.

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II. Here’s what I heard! My curiosity didn’t kill me. As maps of the world were still in embryonic blue and unclear I asked the cosmos my question. And I heard the sound. The colliding of distant galaxies whispered to me like music and gates opened. What was clear in the sky’s six levels found meaning in seven and appeared to me. I saw what would be. My gaze reached Allah.

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III.

Kuşkusuz bir başlangıç var Bir göl kıyısından, çöle ulaşan. Mavi çini seslerinin şehrinde Hiç duyulmamış bir konuşma. Narların ve karanfillerin kanatlandırdığı renkler Karışır isteğe . Aynı gölde yansıma başlar Sulara iner yıldızlar. Böylece kainat Bir göle sığar.

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III. Undoubtedly there’s a beginning that reaches from a lake shore right to the desert. A conversation never heard before in the blue-tiled city of sounds. Colours winged by carnations and pomegranates mingle with desire. In the same lake reflections begin, stars descend to the waters. So the cosmos fits into a lake.

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NECMİ ZEKÂ Translated by İdil Karacadağ & Erik Mortenson


Turkish Poetry Today

butlan

necmi zekâ rıza gösteren değil zilletlerden bir iksir necmi zekâ hiçbir işi boşlamaz baş tacı biraz çene çalmanın aslında bir ünsiyet kabaresi nelerden de habersiz efendisi görmemiş olmayı istemenin yakında görürsünüz necmi zekâ bir süre geçsin nöbeti yatakta orasından burasından açılır bulut mu necmi zekâ muhtelif-ül mizaç ıkınıp sıkınmadan kendini eleverir açıktan her olayın peşinde sunturlu bir necmi zekâ sonlama elemanı değil illüstratif kardiyo necmi zekâ okşaya okşaya birini kızdırma necmi zekâ eregörmek kadar hırçın hiç gibisi söylenecek söz mü bu şimdi bilgi vereyim der tepinip tepinip kendi tüylerini ürpertici necmi zekâ oynayan kaş göz kendinde ve kendini okşamada uçkurdur necmi zekâ

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nullity necmi zekâ isn’t the type to give consent an elixir of despicablenesses necmi zekâ doesn’t neglect anything he is the epitome of babbling a cabaret of rapport actually ignorant of so many things the master of not wanting to have seen you’ll soon see necmi zekâ a guard in bed on ‘let some time pass’ duty can be opened here or there is necmi zekâ a cloud full of temperamental variations without grunting and straining he gives himself away he follows every event in plain sight an awful necmi zekâ like a curse not an expert in the finishing touch an illustrative cardio necmi zekâ making someone angry with caresses necmi zekâ is vicious as the act of final achievement almost like nothing how dare you talk like that he says let me provide you with some information kicks and stomps until he gets the shivers necmi zekâ who is eyebrow- and eye-twitchings holding and caressing himself necmi zekâ’s fond of pudenda

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Turkish Poetry Today

sayılmamak için kaytarıcı tasdik dilini öğrenmiş ve no demeyi ısıtılıp ısıtılıp uzar gele gele buraya

necmi zekâ bana ihtiyaç var mı olmaz mı

necmi zekâ başka bir ismi var mı

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so he won’t be counted as a shirker learned the language of approval and how to say ‘no’ they keep mentioning him so he expands but still ends up in this same place necmi zekâ asks is there a need for me you bet they say yes absolutely is necmi zekâ his name or has he got another

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ZEYNEP KÖYLÜ Translated by Mel Kenne & İdil Karacadağ


Turkish Poetry Today

requiem I

ağzımda gecenin ihaneti duruyor zamandan gizli akar köklerime giden su ah! bilseler varolduğumu çıkmazlardı içimden göğsümü baştan başa yırtan requiem ıslak dudaklarımda bir avuç tuz mu kaldı tanrının kendisiyle konuşurken tattığı uzaklaştıkça herkes uzlaşırdım kalbimle

şimdi beni bir kaya gibi oyun belki de dilime yerleşen rüzgâr son lanetimdir diye sevinirim uzaktan

kuyudaki sesimle avunsun yusuf gövdemin inleyişine doluşsun kuşlar nasıl olsa ardımda ebedi yankısı var hiçbir gece söylenmemiş masalın

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Turkish Poetry Today

requiem I. night’s betrayal in my mouth still hidden from time the water that flows to my roots ah! if only they knew I existed they wouldn’t move from inside me the requiem tearing my breast apart is it a trickle of salt left on my wet lips that god, speaking to himself, tasted while all drew away, I went off with my heart now carve me like a rock maybe seeing the wind on my tongue as my final curse I’ll be happy from a distance let Joseph be consoled by my voice from the well let my body’s moaning be filled by the birds no matter, since behind me there’s the endless echo of a tale that’s not on any night told

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Turkish Poetry Today

II

beni yalnız bıraktın bir kuyu ağzı gibi ay ışığı acıtır şimdi karanlığımı oysa gövdemi terk eden sular buluşur bir nehrin sessizliğiyle

Oknos’un ipini sallandırın içime omuzları konuşan hiç kimse yok burada bir taşın rüyasına gizlice girer annesinden masalını kaçıran herkes

görürüm yeryüzünü ıslak ağzımla anlatamam soluğumdan geçen zamanı düşünürüm iki deniz arasında beni kendi ağzının öpüşleriyle öpsün

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II. like a well’s mouth you left me alone now moonlight hurts the darkness in me yet the waters quitting my body join up with a river’s silence swing Ocnus’ cord inside me there’s no one around whose shoulders speak whoever keeps their tale from their mother secretly ends up as a stone’s dream I face the earth with my wet mouth I can’t express how time passes through my breath between two seas I stand in thought let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth

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MELİH CEVDET ANDAY Translated by Sidney Wade & Efe Murad


Turkish Poetry Today

Kediler

Çocuklar uyanır geceleyin Bir şey ararlar karanlıkta

Uyanır kadınlar geceleyin Yüzük takarlar karanlıkta

Geceleyin kediler uyanır Bize bakarlar karanlıkta

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Turkish Poetry Today

Cats Children wake in the night They search for something in the dark Women wake in the night They fiddle with their rings in the dark In the night cats wake They stare at us in the dark

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Turkish Poetry Today

Geçen Hiçbir Şey Yok

Bir böceğin gözlerinden geçer ay. Giderilemeyen üzüncün kurşunu, ölümün Ve yaşamın alyuvarı, evrenin gözeneği.

Oysa geçen hiçbir şey yok, tümümüz Göğün ortasında. Bir anıt gibi.

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Nothing Passes By The moon passes through the eyes of an insect. Unquenchable extent of the death and life bullet, The red blood cell, the pore of the universe. Yet nothing passes by, all of us In the middle of the sky. Like a monument.

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NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS


Turkish Poetry Today

Melİh Cevdet Anday's long career stretched from

the nineteen-forties into the twenty-first century. In 1941, he and his friends Oktay Rifat and Orhan Veli published Garip (“Strange”), a little book of poems that severed the new Turkish poetic tradition decisively from its Ottoman past and set the terms for modern Turkish verse. Sidney Wade and Efe Murad have just recently completed translating “Strange.”

SELÇUK BERİLGEN was born in Canada to Turkish

parents. He was educated in Turkey and holds a degree from Middle East Technical University, Ankara. He has lived in London since 1994 and worked extensively as a translator and interpreter. His translations include Feyyaz Kayacan's Shelter Stories (Rockingham, 2007) and Songs My Mother Never Taught Me by Selcuk Altun (Telegram, 2008), both with Ruth Christie. He has also collaborated with Ruth Christie on Bejan Matur's book of poems How Ibrahim Abandoned Me (Arc, 2012).

Ruth Christie was born and educated in Scotland,

taking a degree in English Language and Literature at the University of St. Andrews. She taught for two years in Turkey and later studied Turkish language and literature at London University. For many years she taught English literature to American undergraduates resident in London. With Saliha Paker she translated a Turkish novel by Latife Tekin (Marion Boyars, 1993) and in collaboration with Richard McKane a selection of the poems of Oktay Rifat (Rockingham Press,

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1993). A major collection of Nâzım Hikmet's poetry, again with Richard McKane, was published by Anvil Press in 2002. Translations of several short stories and poems by other Turkish writers have appeared in magazines and anthologies in Britain and Turkey.

Nesrİn Eruysal lives in Ankara and is a literary scholar

and translator. She is editor of Söyleşi Üç Aylık Şiir Dergisi (part of The Conversation International Poetry Project), and the author of I Wish That Jewish Doctor Had Come Earlier (Gozlem Publication Company, 2002).

Ken Fifer lives in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, and has published four collections of poetry, the most recent being Architectural Conditions (2012) with architect Larry Mitnick. His poems have appeared in Barrow Street, New Letters, Ploughshares and other journals. İDİL KARACADAĞ was born in Istanbul. She has recently

completed a BA in Literature at Kadir Has University. She has translated contemporary Turkish poets such as Murathan Mungan and Zeynep KÖylü into English, as well as participating in the Cunda Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature.

Mel Kenne has had four books of poetry published and

a sequence of his poems was recorded on compact disk in a musical / poetic / dramatic production entitled The Book of Ed. He was a winner of the Austin Book Award in 1984,

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for his collection of poems South Wind. His most recent collection, Galata’dan / The View from Galata, was published this year as a bilingual edition by Yapı Kredi Yayınları, in Istanbul, with the original text rendered into Turkish by İpek Seyalıoğlu. Kenne has also translated Turkish, Spanish and French poetry into English, and he and Saliha Paker translated two novels by Turkish author Latife Tekin, Dear Shameless Death and Swords of Ice, which were published by Marion Boyars Publishers in 2000 and 2007 respectively. He has lived in Istanbul since 1993 and presently works as a lecturer in the American Culture and Literature Department at Kadir Has University.

Zeynep Köylü was born in 1978. She graduated from

Ankara University Faculty of Communication, Radio-TVCinema Department in 2003. She worked as an editor in various publishing companies. She is currently working as an editor in Istanbul Municipality Theatre while pursuing her MA studies in Sociology Department in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. She was awarded with the Arkadaş Z. Özger Poetry Prize in 1997. Her first poetry book Son Arzum Gül ve Kedi (My Last Wish is a Rose and a Cat) was published in 1998. This book won the Orhon Murat Arıburnu best poetry book award (1999). Her second poetry book, İlk Ağacı Öperek (Kissing the First Tree) was published in 2007. She has also been invited to a variety of festivals and events in Turkey and abroad. Some of her poems have been translated into English, Dutch, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Kurdish, Mongolian and published in anthologies.

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Bejan Matur was born of an Alevi Kurdish family

on 14 September 1968 in southeast Turkey. Her first school was in her own village; later she attended the longestablished Lyce in the region's most important cultural centre Gaziantep. These years were spent living with her sisters far from their parents. She studied Law at Ankara University, but has never practised. In her university years, she was published in several literary periodicals. Reviewers found her poetry "dark and mystic". The shamanist poetry with its pagan perceptions, belonging to the past rather than the present, of her birthplace and the nature and life of her village, attracted much attention. Her first book, Rüzgar Dolu Konaklar, published in 1996, unrelated to the contemporary mainstream of Turkish poets and poetry, won several literary prizes. Her second book, Tanrı Görmesin Harflerimi (1999) was warmly greeted. Two further books appeared at the same time in 2002, Ayın Büyüttüğü Oğullar and Onun Çölünde, continuing the distinctive language and world of imagery special to herself and her poetry. Bejan Matur, who believes there is no frontier between poetry and life, travels the world like a long-term desert nomad. She stops by Istanbul, a city she sometimes lives in.

ERIK MORTENSON is an assistant professor in the

Department of English and Comparative Literature at Koç University in Istanbul. His first book , which examines "the moment" as one of the primary motifs of Beat Generation writing, is entitled Capturing the Beat Moment: Cultural Politics and the Poetics of Presence and is available from

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Southern Illinois University Press. He has published essays on the Beats in a number of journals and in several books, and is currently working on a project which explores the reception of the Beats as underground literature in Turkey.

MURATHAN MUNGAN is one of the most prominent

and prolific contemporary Turkish writers. He has published poetry, short stories, plays, novels, screenplays, radio plays, essays, film and theatre criticism, and political columns. He has written over fifteen poetry books. His work has been translated into Bosnian, Bulgarian, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Kurdish, Norwegian, Persian and Swedish. Mungan’s trilogy of plays, The Mesopotamian Trilogy, has enjoyed successful theatre runs across the country and the last play of the trilogy, Geyikler Lanetler (Deer Curses) was on the 2007 programme of the Arca Azzura Theater in Italy.

Efe Murad is a poet and translator, currently working

towards his Ph.D. in Middle East Studies at Harvard.

Polat Onat, born in Istanbul in 1979, is a primary

school teacher. Since 2000, his poems and essays on poetry have been published in many Turkish literary magazine, including Varlık, E, Heves, Başka, Kavram Karmaşa, Şiir Ülkesi, Sepya, Budala, Kuzey Yıldızı, İmlasız, Ağır Ol Bay Düzyazı, Daktilo, Ay and Akatalpa. His first book The End was published in 2009, followed by The Old Man’s Death in 2011.

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Sidney Wade has published five collections of poetry,

the most recent of which is Stroke, from Persea Books. She has served as President of AWP and Secretary/Treasurer of ALTA and has taught workshops in Poetry and Translation at the University of Florida’s MFA@FLA program since 1993. She and her co-translator, Efe Murad, have just completed a selection of the poems of the Turkish poet Melih Cevdet Anday.

NECMİ ZEKÂ is a poet, writer, and painter. He was born

in 1963. After graduating from German High School in Istanbul, he studied at Boğaziçi, Leicester and Northwestern universities. He has published six poetry books and received the 2002 Golden Orange Poetry Award. He has translated both German and English poetry into Turkish.

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Turkish Poetry Today 2013  

Sample selections from the 2013 edition of Turkish Poetry Today.

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