Thursday, April 21, 2005

Chandrahas over at The Middle Stage introduced me to a Turkish poet by the name of Orhan Veli Kanik the other day:


Everything happened all of a sudden.
All of a sudden daylight beat down on the earth;
There was the sky all of a sudden;
All of a sudden steam began to rise from the soil.
There were tendrils all of a sudden, buds all of a sudden.
And there were fruits all of a sudden.
All of a sudden,
All of a sudden,
Girls all of a sudden, boys all of a sudden.
Roads, moors, cats, people...
And there was love all of a sudden,
Happiness all of a sudden.

("All of a Sudden" makes me think of Neruda's poem "Spring" from Fully Empowered - the rebirth of everything due of the song of a bird.)


We live free
Air is free, clouds are free
Valleys and hills are free
Rain and mud are free
The outside of cars
The entrances of cinemas
And the shop windows are free
Bread and cheese cost money
But stale water is free
Freedom can cost your head
But prison is free
We live free

(Here is another work in a similar vein.)


How pleasant, oh dear God, how pleasant
To journey on the blue sea
To cast off from shore
Aimless as thought.

I would set sail to the wind
And wander from sea to sea
To find myself one morning
In some deserted bay.

In a harbor large and clean
A harbor in coral isles
Where in the wake of clouds
A golden summer trails.

The languid scent of oleasters
Would fill me there
And the taste of sorrow
Never find that place.

Sparrows would nest in the flowered
Eaves of my dream castle
The evenings would unravel with colors
The days pass in pomengrate gardens.

Here are a few more poems in translation.

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