POETRY ISTANBUL

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TURKISH  POETRY

                                          ORHAN VELI KANIK (1914-1950)

     Orhan Veli Kanik was born in 1914, in Istanbul.  He is one of the most important poets in Turkish poetry.  He wrote different poems than the other poets.  He used new themes, new feelings in his poems.  Also his poems were written in everyday language.  Orhan Veli was very successful by examining the inside world of the people with a sense of humor.

I AM LISTENING TO ISTANBUL

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
At first there blows a gentle breeze
And the leaves on the trees
Softly flutter or sway;
Out there, far away,
The bells of water carriers incessantly ring;
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
Then suddenly birds fly by,
Flocks of birds, high up, in a hue and cry
While nets are drawn in the fishing grounds
And a woman's feet begin to dabble in the water.
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.
The Grand Bazaar is serene and cool,
A hubbub at the hub of the market,
Mosque yards are brimful of pigeons,
At the docks while hammers bang and clang
Spring winds bear the smell of sweat;
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
Still giddy since bygone bacchanals,
A seaside mansion with dingy boathouses is fast asleep,
Amid the din and drone of southern winds, reposed,
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.
Now a dainty girl walks by on the sidewalk:
Cusswords, tunes and songs, malapert remarks;
Something falls on the ground out of her hand,
It's a rose I guess.
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
A bird flutters round your skirt;
I know your brow is moist with sweat
And your lips are wet.
A silver moon rises beyond the pine trees:
I can sense it all in your heart's throbbing.
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes

Orhan Veli Kanik (Translated by Murat Nemet Nejat)
 

THE POEM OF BEING LONELY
They don't know,
Those who don't live alone,
How frightening is
Soundlessness;
How a person talks to himself,
How he runs to mirrors,
Hungry for a soul,
They don't know it.

Orhan Veli  (Translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat, 1989)
 

CAHIT SITKI TARANCI (1910 -1956)

   Cahit Sitki Taranci was born in 1910, in Diyarbakr.  His themes in his poems are: death, love, loneliness, secrets and nature.  Since he liked life his poems are very hopeful.

I WANT A COUNTRY

Let the sky be blue, the bough green, the cornfield yellow
Let it be a land of birds and flowers

Let want a country
Let there be no pain in the head, no yearning in the heart
Let there be an end to brothers' quarrels

I want a country
Let there be no rich and poor, no you and me
On winter days let everyone have hose and home

I want a country
Let living be like loving from the heart
If there must be complaint, let it be of death

Cahit Sitki Taranci- (Translated by Bernard Lewis)
 

MELIH CEVDET ANDAY (1915- )
 
     Melih Cevdet Anday was born in 1915, in Istanbul.  His poems are about his childhood and  his happiness.  He is also against the war and he states this in his poems.

GYPSIES

 Do you recall the sea, the deep sea
 Which drives the birds crazy in November?
 The sun, too, that goes sizzling into the sea?
 You don't say? How about the tree under which
 The gypsies were sitting? Thin too slipped your mind?
 How many years since the time of death
                 Melih Cevdet Anday (Translated by Talat Sait Halman)

                                                 TEVFIK FIKRET (1867-1915)
 
     Tevfik Fikret was born in 1867, in Istanbul.  He stated freedom in his poems.  His efforts to Westernize Turkish poetry became successful.
 

I AM A POET, MY THOUGHTS ARE FREE

I expect no gifts from any, nor beg for wing or feather
In my own sky, in my own heavens, on my own I soar
To bow beneath slavery's collar weighs heavy on my neck
I'm a poet, my thoughts are free, wisdom free, conscience free

Tevfik Fikret (Translated by Walter G. Andrews)


                                                                      Yasemin Durak
                                                                          P-2/A-165

 

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