Poetry Translations (Into English)

SALİH BOLAT

we, the sad children of this city
for long carried the shadow of a phoenix.
we picked up metal flowers from our fields.
we fell in love, we wrote poetry, we shed tears.
years later, feeling the walls of this city
its rain, its norms, its friendships, we’re walking.
our arms fall upon the pavements as the shadow of a dagger.
we stab it in the feet of the passers-by.
ah, nobody feels the pain!

Poetry from Turkey
(Translated by Yusuf Eradam. Co-translators mentioned)

YUSUF ERADAM
madımak otu çiçeği (Sapana Taş)

çocuktum ufacıktım oyun oynadım
arkadaşlarımla adlarını unuttum
beş taşı yerden kaldırıvermede yoktu üstüme
şükürler olsun o beş taşa
adlarını bilmediğim kuşları öldüremedim
doğru dürüst tutamadım ki sapanı tek elimle

çelik çomağımla, uçurtmamla
bütün dünyanın çocuklarıyla birdim kolaylıkla
duvarlara asılı düşlerime türkü çığırmada da ustaydım
eli sopa tutan müdür bey onları bir bir yerle bir etmeden önce

o günden sonra işte elim değmedi öldürmeye
asla oynamadım kibritle
canlı bir şeyleri yakarım diye

sonra yaşam kadar gerçek karikatürler gördüm
savaşlar, katliamlar, soykırımlar
düşündüğü için öldürülen baykuşlar gördüm
sahiplerini arayan parmak izleri
düşünce özgürlüğü istediği için kırılan parmaklar gördüm
canlı canlı yakılan yazarlar, şairler, türkücüler
imdat diye bağıran karetta karettalar gördüm
öldürülen çocukları ardından gözyaşı döken analar
gökyüzünü karartmaya azimli gözü kara önderler gördüm
çocukları oyuncaklarla kandırmaya çalışan eli silahlı soytarılar
rengârenk kalemleri is içinde bırakan nükleer bacalar gördüm
uygarlık karşısında eller yukarı masal kahramanları hayvanlar
yalnızca dillerini konuşabilmek için yürüyen insanlar gördüm
başını almış giden başıboş şiddet
başını almış giden başıboş hoşgörüsüzlük
insan acısına kayıtsız insanlar gördüm

şimdi dünyanın her yanından kuşlarla dolu odam
şiirler içinde saklambaç oynuyorum
göz çıkarmayayım diye yaparken kaş
ninnilere ışık tutayım diye
olmayayım diye
sapana taş.

Temmuz 1996, Ankara

Not: Bu şiir önce “Sapana Taş” başlığı taşımaktaydı. Eradam şiiri İngilizce’ye çevirirken de “Stone for a Sling” başlığını yeğledi ve şiirin İngilizce yeniden yazılmış ve kısaltılmış hali ABD’de The Space Between Our Steps adlı dünya şiir seçkisinde yayımlandı. Eradam, ikinci şiir kitabına girecek bütün şiirlere çiçek isimleri koymaya karar verince de bu şiire en uygun başlık olarak 2 Temmuz 1993’te Sıvas’taki Madımak Oteli’nin yakılması sonucu öldürülen 37 kişiyi unutturmamak için “Madımak Otu Çiçeği”ni seçti.

Stone for a Sling

…I played

games with child friends whose names i forgot

i was the best at grabbing the five stones off the ground

thanks to those five stones in one hand

i could never ever hold a sling to kill birds…

then i saw life-size cartoons of wars, of massacres, of genocide…

of fingerprints crying out for their owners…

of human beings indifferent to human affliction…

now in my room with birds from all over the world

i play hide-and-seek in poems

hoping to shed light onto lullabies…

hoping not to be

the stone for a sling.

(Published in: The Space Between Our Footsteps: poems and paintings from the Middle East.
Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998:88)

BEHCET AYSAN

ZEYBEKIKO (*)
count the stars, that star
is the dawndeath of love
the other the crucifixion of death

and that one over there that never speaks
is the stepstar of silence.

pale the bright star
blinking hostilities

the end of hostilities
gatling guns
and barricades

and the bright star
of the convict camps
and the barbed wire fences.

i call you, hear me
understand me.

i come to you
with the fearless wind

that blows
from a shipwreck.

the broken marble stones
darkened by rains

names unreadable

turbans and crosses overgrown by moss

i do not know
which are the lost grave stones

all are lost under snows.

when spring comes
our dead blossom

side by side
on one land.
they get up and dance
the horon and the sirtaki.

from crete my grandfather calls
and yours from foca (**)

when spring came

in the same stone houses
mounting the same carts

they greeted

the same poppies

with the song of the same waters.

hey takis petrulas

count the stars

or add another
star

i’m your friend.

hey behcet aysan
count the stars

or add another
star

i’m your friend.

and friend of the pale blinking stars.

years later, again sunrise,
the same rustling of leaves

made me write this poem
when it struck 03:00.
when it struck 03:00
i had two hearts.

either a shipwreck or a lighthouse.

(Translated by Yusuf Eradam and Michael Gurian)

(*) Zeybekiko: a song and dance played to the zeybek rhythm,
peculiar to the Aegean coast.

(**) Crete is in Greece and Foca in Turkey. The persona here is
underlining the fact that his and his Greek friend’s grandfathers
were close friends and the idea that borders between people are
nonsensical.

BEHÇET AYSAN

A LAVENDER DEATH

i’m brokenhearted, i’m like
a scattered pomegranate

i’m a stream flowing silently
through the night
i’d go if you say so
if you say so i’d stay

if you say
go

the birds, autumn birds, wouldn’t return either,
with me i’d take cherry bunches

and the good days i lived
with you,

the bad days
i’d leave.

the same sky the same grief
nothing changes, then
why go
and stand against the rain.

i’m an unchanted song, abandoned

perhaps
i’ll stay
in the old photographs,

on the tongue of a dark child perhaps.

all the depths are shallow
all the words provisional

nothing, nothing changes
but death.

the same sky the same grief.

BEHÇET AYSAN
A LAVENDER VIOLET

once i knew a violet
passionately in love

lavender it was
and would bloom in freedom.

others’ joy
was also its

death wouldn’t suit
its neck
embellished
with pearl laces.

at night, a bird would fly
the violet
would wake up
as if someone knocked
at its door.

my passionate violet
my fickle lavender pansy

i’m sorry

i’m guilty of
your withering away

i killed you

by making a pot
out of what we lived together.

SENNUR SEZER

AN UNFINISHED POEM

for Refika Bezirci(*)

No time for poetry, I’m sick
I must do the washing and rinsing
Or else everything will be messy and incomplete
Look she is forbidden to cry
But she’d laugh so beautifully with her husband
Peaceful she used to be, like a glass of water
Now she has sleepless nights

No time for poetry, I must get up
The quinces are blooming
Ashes turned cold
Paper turned yellow
I must give a warm hug to that woman,
No time for poetry, I must get up

I must do the washing and rinsing
Whichever door I open, I smell soot
The footnotes are complete, the book incomplete
I must find the sleeps of that woman.

(*) Refika Bezirci is the wife of Asım Bezirci, who was a most
prolific humanitarian, socialist writer, critic, editor or the author of 71 books. Mr. Bezirci was murdered in Sivas in 1993, in Madimak Hotel set aflame by fundamentalists.

NAZIM HİKMET (RAN)

INVITATION

Galloping from far Asia
This country that lies in the Mediterranean
Like the head of a mare
Is ours.

Wrists in blood, teeth clamped, feet naked
And this land that resembles a silk carpet,
This hell, this heaven
Is ours.

Let alien doors shut, and never open again,
Demolish human slavery to human!
This invitation
Is ours.

To live! Like a tree, one and free
And like a forest in brotherhood
This longing
Is ours!

NAZIM HİKMET (RAN)

HELLO CHILDREN

Nazım, how happy you must be
deep in your heart,
you have said a fine “hello”
so ample and so sure.

Year 1940.
Month July.
The first Thursday of the month.
9 a.m.

Put such a full date on your letters.
We live in such a world
that the month, the day and the hour
have so much to say, more than the thickest book.

Hello children.
Uttering such a wide
such a big “Hello”
and then before finishing what i have to say
looking at your faces, smiling
cunning and happy
winking an eye at you…
We are such excellent friends
we can communicate without words

Hello children,
Hello to you all…

NAZIM HİKMET (RAN)

THE LITTLE GIRL

I am the one who knocks at the doors
all the doors one by one.
I cannot be visual to your eyes
the dead cannot be seen.

Since i died in Hiroshima
it’s been almost a decade.
I am a girl of seven
dead children do not grow up.

My hair caught fire first,
Then my eyes were burnt, roasted.
I became a handful of ash,
My ash scattered in the air.

I want nothing
Nothing for myself.
The child that burns like paper
Can not even eat candies.

I knock at your door
Auntie, uncle, put your signature here.
Don’t let children be killed
May they eat candies as well.

RIFAT ILGAZ

MY CHILDREN

I did not get to know you from teacher’s grade book
My naughty children.
I met the least attendant
When he was getting out of the cinema
Under his arm were newspapers he couldn’t sell;
And in a stuffy room
As I was welcoming the evening in my style,
The laziest of you offered me a minty candy;
The most pensive of the class
Wanted to carry in his pannier
The spinach bunch in my hand.
Most of you did not even come near school
Because you had no coats, shoes;
Some of you sell lemons in the Fish Bazaar,
Some serve tea at Tahtakale
While we try to calculate like the hungry chickens
The vitamins in butter
And the calories in eggs.
We taught so much to one another in class,
We measured the circumference of the earth,
Calculated the distance of the stars,
We talked about Central Asia;
And when we lacked words
We thought of so many things,
We forgot about reality
And we mixed with the clouds
And we even got sorry for the sick leaves
That the trees shed after fall winds
In winter days we pitied the sparrows
Forgetting ourselves.

MÜŞTAK ERENUS

WHAT’S UP DAD

Granny’s lullaby
Sleepy on the swing
Regretful fables eyes closed
Midwife is standing there out of experience
Tell me dad
Who made up these disgraceful lies?
Tell me my one and only
Who let this nineheaded dragon
In the field and how?
Iny mini miny moe
Catch a tiger by the toe.

INFORMER

Being a respectful earth citizen
I will put the ladder up the clouds
I will let this mail pigeon
Up into the heavens
For God’s sake, for Allah’s sake
For h u m a n’s sake
I will inform you all.
Look what you have made of this earth!

YOUR HEART, YOUR DEAR HEART

At night stars are a blanket for you
You know this
But still you’re cold.
These coward words in full sweat
Run into a precipice
You get quiet and think.
Is this love for you
This heart
This human dignity in vain?
If our shadows have been scissored on the roads
Just once, shake yourself
And whatever is left to dry on a horse
Put your leaves out again to the sun
Hold the hands of colors.
That’s it.

KEMALETTİN TUĞCU

MR. AHMET’S SHOES

He’d spare his shoes and wouldn’t walk in them
Every evening he’d clean them for the next day

He’d knock at their bottom and listen to the sound
He’d say this is pure French leather

His shoes had a special brush and cloth
He’d always keep them clean inside and out

Every evening as soon as he got home he’d put on his slippers
His only concern in life was his shoes

He’d set out with a Bismillah and walk on asphalt roads
He knew that this shoe nation would rot in snow waters

The shoes had their place reserved next to the door
Poor Mr. Ahmet would put them side by side

He’d say, “These shoes will last for so many more years.”
He’d say so but unfortunately his life did not last that long

They did not throw his shoes away
Nor did they sell them to anyone as the shoes had great memories.

YEŞİM SALMAN

WAR

Your waiting for me
in the empty station at night
you were wearing a raincoat
and a scarf around your neck
we were looking for a place to talk

we had very little time

we sat at the train station cafe
two cups of tea on the table
two cups of tea we did not drink
your fingers in my hands
“i’ll write to you wherever i am”

the eye glasses of the officer in charge
were wire framed
the eyes of the officer in charge
were examining minutely not revealing anything
far away a radio was again
turned off on Lili Marlen

the train arrived just in time
no one else got on it
it speeded up and vanished
one of my hands left in the air
the other holding the parcels i couldn’t give to you

when the marigolds dried away i put them in a jar

i could not receive any news for weeks
then a letter arrived
it was not from you.

YEŞİM SALMAN

FISHERMEN’S STREET

Perch is caught in the light of lantern
mackarel’s eyes are small
in the fishermen’s street
bass shine at night
under the lamp light
in his linoleum pocket Canbet, the Armenian
searches for some change
as sea water is poured on them from buckets
giltheads glitter
on red plates
handsome and slim, Taso, the Greek, walks about
with his boots on, leans down
and stands upright again
when her dowry is ready
his beautiful daughter gets married in the church
in the fishermen’s street
in Arnavutköy (*)

(*) Arnavutköy: a beautiful district on the European side of the
Bosphorus in İstanbul. It means “Albanian Village.”

YEŞİM SALMAN

THE SMALL PIECE

Why is it that you should feel guilty,
you do not have to come
you do not have to be good
nor do you have to tell a lie
or say that i am beautiful.
Because i am a small piece of the whole.
The whole is beautiful anyway
i, i do not have to be
i am not that essential
but i am a piece of that beautiful
that great whole!

YEŞİM SALMAN

THE PEARL

to H.G. Wells

The writer said
the pearl is
of the most gleaming
of the beautiful transparent stones
because they are made
of the pain piercing a soul

now the planet is again
of love
now the blue whirls again
i have been drawing from my soul
for long
when will that tiny miny sand
become a pearl
out of me

YEŞİM SALMAN

STONES THRUST INTO THE WATER

None of those stones
thrust into the water
was in vain
they just precipitated in the deep
and each had some space

they raised the water a bit
all had some sound
then their wave came
each stone bore a wave
though for a short while
each wave in each
broken and forgotten

YEŞİM SALMAN

CHILD EVENING

Evening comes slowly
appears by me
in the evening that blue balcony
water drips from geraniums
water drips on zinc
the madame will soon get angry with the children
who steal plums from trees
she will pour the last pot over them
the children will run away screaming

loquat is one of the trees
her house, the house of that madame, is about to collapse
she wears a dress, laced collar turned yellow
from balcony to balcony chatting with my mom
she was a mannerly woman
just her husband, a shoerepairman
and herself
like living in a tale

behind the roof guttered tile
in the front a terrace a dozen tin boxes
geraniums sweet basils
top floor windows always shut

white curtains hanging
ground floor no curtains no furniture totally desolate
just a scrawny old woman over there
she does not speak to anyone
nor does she go anywhere else

in her hand a handkerchief
she cries and sits
she just sits and cries

as we say so just her husband, a shoerepairman
and herself
it got dark

they have been struck by wealth tax
you were yet to be born
whatever they owned was sold
her husband on exile
the woman dried up somewhere here
her face as small as a bird
she cries and sits
she sits and cries

child evening is hidden for years

in that house
a woman lived on her own
a woman shedding tears for her husband on exile
the woman who poured a pot full of water
to chase the children stealing the plums
and the woman in the pale laces
were the same woman

my child mind fooled me.

BEHÇET NECATİGİL

WATERLILY

I had put it there, they took it away
Hours squeezed in between.
I used to take it out and look, when no one was around.
It was the mirror that would show me to me, they took it away.

In winter, it bloomed in my spring waters;
What was the point in usurping it to the icy mountains?

One yellow page in old notebooks.
It was the meaning that would show me to me, they took it away.

It was some light, it would shine in lonely nights;
At night flowers went to sleep.
Darkness covered the other side of the water.
It was the lamp that would show me to me, they took it away.

BEHÇET NECATİGİL

IN LOVES

You postponed loves to tomorrow.
Hesitant, timid, respectful you were
All your relatives misunderstood you
Though it was not your choice to do so
You kept everything in your heart
When one look was enough to tell everything
Because you had so much to do
You were expecting more time
It would sound ugly to utter love in a limited time
But you never guessed life would pass
In a rush of years, and so quickly too
In your secret garden
You had flowers blooming
At night and alone
You thought they were not worth giving
Or you just didn’t have the time.

BEHÇET NECATİGİL

SLEEPING WITH THE STARS

Darkness falling on the city
Saw a man in the street
And lead the man
To his home.

The man rested a while,
Sat at the table.
The family ate
The mother put the child to bed.

Darkness falling on the city
Would tell fables
By the side of the bed
Of the child scared alone.

Something strange happened that night:
Darkness reached the sky,
Took a star
Brought it to the child’s room.

The star that whirled in vacuum
Shattered into pieces of light
Like the colorful fireworks
And fell on the child.

The child fell asleep right away,
And smiled in his sleep.

OKTAY RİFAT

FREEDOM HAS HANDS

1
Our horses galloped in foams
towards the still sea.

2.
This flight, in the pigeon,
what is it, the joy of freedom, what?

3.
Kissing was forbidden, did you know,
thinking was forbidden,
defending labour, forbidden!

4.
They have separated the fruit from the tree,
they sell it in the market
to whatever price they can get;
labour’s branches broken, on the ground.

5.
Light is blinding, they say,
and freedom is explosive.
Its them who do smash our lamps
and who put our freedom aflame.

They want it to explode when we reach out,
and they want us to burn in flames when we light it.
They have minefields,
bread and water wait in the dark.

6.
Freedom has hands,
eyes, feet;
to wipe the bloody sweat,

to look into the future
Leading to equality.

7.
I am the cage, you are the ivy;
Wind dear, wind as much as you are able!

8.
This is the love of freedom,
once you are in it
this robe never wears out,
this dream truer than reality.

9.
The chivalric riders of the historic flow,
workers, the bees of the universe hive;
as they swirwe around the black loaf
these brothers that bring freedom to our earth.
By that loaf wakes up reason,
By that loaf night reaches day;
By that sun people reach independence.

10.
This hope is the door to being free;
half open humanly to happy days.
This joy is the light of happy days;
Timidly and silently, it hits us.

Come, people of my country, open your eyes,
like the branch at the door of freedom,
behind you is the sky, brotherly blue!

CAN YÜCEL

TOUCHMATIC

Don’t you see
I’m drinking water
I’m writing poetry
What the hell are you touching me for?

EXPLICATION

The dog is not the owner of the property
But the dog of it

AN ATTEMPT TO HAMLET

That is the question: you either are or not

Or this problem
Is either suicide or you’re old.


THE CALENDER

“Mom, when will spring arrive?”
Let winter arrive first honey.

EARLY IN THE MORNING

The rose must be the memory of something I forgot
Who knows perhaps of the hope that blooms early in the morning

TWADDLER

Aboard, a snake fell by my side
I got hold of the sea

VISUAL

They took away my eyes, determined not to give them back
What a pity not to be able to see you again!

GÖKHAN TOK

1. MINE

The mine does not have feet to walk away.
That’s why it takes human feet.

2. RAINBOW

The rainbow is the apology of the storm.

3. THE TEARS OF SNOWS

Spring has come. Our master is dead.

4. THE SECRET OF THE NIGHT

A scream is heard.

5. LONELINESS

I wish there was at least someone to scratch my back.

6. TALK

You never hear it but at breakfast the sweetest talk is
between the jam and the honey.

7. POPLAR TREES

In the summer no other tree surpasses a poplar tree in
babbling. Especially when the evening wind hits its branches,
it talks and talks.

8. NIGHT

Is it because the sun uses all its colors at sunset
that nothing but black is left for the night?

(Gökhan Tok continued)

9. THE BLIND MAN AND THE STARS

“The stars,” said the blind man, “I have never seen them, but
still I know them all. They are my ancestors.”

10. SECRET

The secret of the absolute is that a secret is absolute.

11. CERRO CUADRADO

Stones preserve the secret of the tree. Those that stayed
young, like those tried by fire, are the fountain of life. They
hope to go back to their country one day.

12. THE FERRY

The ferryboat shining in the quay with all its lights on does
not gleam as much as it does in the journey dreams of an old
woman.

13. THE HAVEN OF YOUR POCKET

For the one who has never in his life seen a star shoot,
don’t you have a star to act as a wishbone?

TR’s Note: I numbered these poetic aphorisms by Gökhan Tok. You do not have to number them
or if you choose any, you do not have to put them in this order either (Yusuf Eradam)

ORHAN VELİ (KANIK)

FABLE

Free from anxiety is my child heart
Glory on faces, abundant is the harvest
On his horse is the prince with purple tuft
The country I have begun to forget.

On my temple mother’s warm knee
In my ear the fortune teller woman’s words,
By the lake the sultan’s three daughters,
Moving towards Kaf Mountain (*) in procession.

(*) a fabulous mountain

MELİH CEVDET ANDAY

WHAT A WONDERFUL THING

To be living is really wonderful
And when the weather is beautiful
And when you’re healthy and strong
And when you’re earning your living
And when your heart is pure
And when your face is clean of shame
That is, if you’re not scared of yourself
If you’re not afraid of anyone in the world
If you can trust your friend
And if you’re expecting good days
If you believe in good days to come
And if the weather is beautiful
To be living is wonderful
It’s really wonderful.

İLHAN BERK

IN PLACE OF THE END

Brothers,
All sorts of cruelty is bad
None suits
Human beings

Planting trees, waking up in the mornings is good
It’s good to look after animals and to water flowers
It’s good to think of freedom
To live for it
To work for it the whole day is good
The sleeping, the waking up of all children is good
All kinds of cruelty, bad.

ÖZDEMİR ASAF

THAT EVENING

They are breaking wallnuts, I look;
They are breaking the wall of the nut.
The nut comes out…
Then the children get busy with their games.

I too pick a wallnut
Amidst the many wallnuts.
The sea comes out of my wallnut.
I set sail.

I am sailing in the wall of that nut,
Away from the no-game gardens of my childhood.
One evening in that child game
Away from that sea of sadness inscribed on my forehead.

AHMED ARIF

IN JAIL

Did you hear stone wall?
The iron door, blind window,
My pillow, my bunk, my chain,
The one I risked my life for,
The sad photograph i hide,
Did you hear?
My visitor has sent onions,
My cigarette smells of carnation
Spring has come to the mountains of my country…

AHMED ARIF

THE LULLABY FOR BABY ADILOSH

You were born
We kept you starving for three days
We did not nurse you for three days
Baby Adilosh,
Because we did not want you to fall ill
Because it was our custom
Attack the breast now
Attack and grow up…

These are
Adders and centipides,
These are the ones
Who have coveted
For our bread and food
Know them well
Know and grow up…

This is honour
It is scraped on our identity
And this is patience,
Strained from poisons.
Embrace them
Embrace and grow up…

EDİP CANSEVER

THE ALARM OF LIVING

I have never felt so close
To the cherry on the branch
To the light in the windows
To the smell of gravy in my kitchen,
To the stream flowing, the cloud flying,
I have never felt so close to living.

TAHSİN SARAÇ

WHEN ALL THE CHILDREN BECOME BROTHERS

Sleep gets more like honey
When children become brothers
The wolf and the sheep are never cross
When children become brothers.

To the sea of dreams
Happiness sets a thousand sails
Every heart a golden fountain
When children become brothers.

The flowing stream shines better
When children become brothers
The east and the west embrace
When children become brothers.

When children become brothers
Loving one another
Like the shrubs in the wood
Famine leaves, and so does fear.

ÜLKÜ TAMER

SLEEP

Don’t send me flowers
Send me a bird tree
With pigeons strolling
On its branches

Let the pigeons land on my pillow
To put me to sleep
Feathers on their backs
Lullaby on their beaks

Let them raise my bed high
And fly it up into heavens
And let me suddenly find myself
Among the stars

Don’t send me flowers
Send me a bird tree
Those that touch my forehead
Should say “He has recovered.”

BİLGİN ADALI

JOKER POEM

Come let’s prune the sun
so that it shine more
let’s dye the hair of the moon
so that it look younger:

Let’s make flowerpots from the barrels of guns
turnstiles from planes
and bean sticks from rifles
They will then be of some use.

Let’s grow melons and watermelons
on the roofs of houses
let’s sow the sea and plant millet in the middle
and let this be the joke of our poem.

The desert needs water and the field needs seeds
the poor need food, the sick need doctors
let’s put up a school in every village
so that the face of the earth change.

Come on children, do not hesitate,
if we delay this
the adults will spoilsport.

ALİ CENGİZKAN
SELECTED QUATRAINS FROM FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF CONSTANTINE MANOS (1983)

1.
Others flowed into the sea like water
And mountains came in between, hair got white,
The walking stick made out of mulberry branch may be of no use
But I still hear the sound of water echoing in the rocks.

4.
Mom puts up the oven every morning
Dad goes to the field and sows the land.
Little things are pregnant to the bigger
In our homes we enjoy little lights.

9.
The Olimpos village resembles Nazım (*)
It flows downhill like water,
In the blue mirror of the sea
It wants to grow and be buried in the heart of humanity.

12.
This girl is standing by the wall,
This girl will make love under the olive trees.
This girl is making her home out of stones
Her grandchildren will bury this girl.

55.
Death comes wherever and however it wishes to
It finds women, their kissable faces,
Their hair, their lips, eyebrows, eyes.
Wherever death comes from, it makes mothers cry.

23.
You, the child thinking in front of his home!
You will grow up one day.
You too will have a living room, your threshold will hold shoes
You too will have a house you will clean with a broom.

(Ali Cengizkan… Manos quatrains, continued)

38.
Only your granny could carry
Your head of the sun
Your burning, heavy, proud
And your promising looks for dignified futures.

52.
The sky is stark blue,
The land is so large.
There is only one wall standing in between
And everyone here has a cypress.

53.
Getting in through the door or out of it, that’s the question.
Two people hold him from both edges, and the child is born.
Two people hold him from both edges, and the child is born.
Are you entering through the door or getting out of it, that’s the question.

78.
And people have embellished even death
They put up crosses for their dead, brought flowers for them
Lit candles, watered their graves
And in order that life be noticed, they wore black.

79.
Reading newspapers is good in the mornings,
So is waiting for someone in the mornings.
Drinking tea with someone in the mornings is good,
So is facing your back to the sea in the mornings.

83.
If they ask you to take the picture of time
What would you take, the light, the stairs,
My granny with her walking stick, or the little girl on the stone
Or the stone, the texture of the wall, or the odor of the air?

ALİ CENGİZKAN

WALKING BEHIND THE CHILDREN CARRYING FLOWERS

No sooner irresistible odors touch my nose
Rose petals gather in my eyes.
And children are making roses out of old memories,
They make roses out of what’s left in their hands.

Rose petals gather in my eyes.
Is it because of the fog that my eyes burn?

But I know,
Only plastic children do not make roses.
And I see,
Only plastic roses do not shed their petals.

And children are making roses out of old memories,
Rose petals gather in my eyes.
In my eyes blooms the most petalled rose of history,
I fly behind the children.

I am not crying.

ŞÜKRÜ ERBAŞ

THEY KILLED CHILDREN
“A child is the father of man”

Their hands never touched the skin of a rose
That’s why they don’t know what tenderness is
They were brought up without flowers

In games they were taught nothing but to win
Then most of them lost in a bigger game
They were brought up without love

Left in the barren land, none gave shoots
Their waters were of rough lies and selfishness and of hatred
They were brought up without shadows

Love birds that took off from the branch of a tender heart
Never landed on the voice of any of them
They were brought up without songs

What is giving a hand to a friend, what is friendship
All they feared was to be betrayed
They were brought up without trust

ŞÜKRÜ ERBAŞ( continued)

A SIP OF WATER

Nobody’s joy means anything for anyone else
No one is hearing anybody else’s grief…
In this place where everyone is cold by his own wind
Hitting loneliness, my body is ravelled
My heart is a dreamroom with forty locks…
The child whose mouth I ate morsels from
Is now a long rain in the turbid avenues
The sun is the warm guest of distant worlds
Now the evening tuft is on the foreheads of houses
And the profound games of shadows on faces
Time is pulling the curtains on us…
The child whose cradle of eyelashes I slept in,
I wish you were here with me, I wish
The light in your eyes fell on the palm of my heart
Like the summer waters in threads
I’d flow, I’d be purified, I’d be plenty…
I’m a shoot of mountain narcissus in a small pot
Suffocated, for long I’m giving out
The child in whose dimple I got drowned
Give me a sip of water from the vapory fountain of your mouth…

THUS I LENGTHEN MY LIFE

I am incessantly watering trees
I go for long walks
Chasing the light and the wind
In the parks and buses
I give my seat to children
I love children more than I love adults.
A young girl’s circling laughter
The old man pausing for deep breaths by the walls
And the clouds shaping the sky
With the same simplicity, give me the same joy.

I bend down to the earth, I bend down to waters
All the birds flying above me
Flap their wings to a shoreless time.
Getting longer and longer, four seasons are now one
Optimistic, large, calm and orange.
I envy no one anymore
I am not offended by anyone
The pain life put in my heart
Is left behind, far behind

For my face I adopted a new smile
A smile with a steppe patience suiting my complexion
To be able to fill the loneliness
People dug around me with them again
I get out of beds with the sun
And come back home with the moonlight
Thus I lengthen my life.

I’M SOME WATER WHITENING

How do I understand I’m getting old?
Well, women are getting more and more beautiful

The sun is walking across the earth more quickly
Waters are colder and the wind is cooler

Once, I used to talk eagerly about anything
Now, a large smile on my face, I listen

Huge buildings, and markets in lights are over
Now I keep to the side streets and small cosy pubs

Surprised, I’m learning from children all over again
The childhood I desperately wanted to rid myself of

All sounds, voices become loneliness echoing
I think I said what I felt like saying

When someone sings in grief
I shiever all over with some vapor on my eye lashes

Brief talk, simple furniture, love of cats
In the stream of time I’m some water whitening as it flows

How do I understand I’m getting old?
Women are more beautiful, and more distant…

(Şükrü Erbaş continued)
THE STAIN

Sitting in the middle of markets
That child is crying in threads with her beautiful grief
“If only dad was here
if only dad was here
if only dad was here…”

A black stain in front of the lustrous shopwindows
The child is not crying
She has taken all her longings on her wings
And a flock of cranes on the peak of her eyes
Piercing the night, she is flying.

ATTİLA İLHAN

THIRD PERSON

those times your eyes moved mine
i ached and cried
there was another lover
i knew
a skin and bone stripling
shameless and scrawny
meeting him, forever moved to kill him
i ached and cried

times moving through maçka (*)
ships at the waterfront
trees whistled
a wind ran away with my head
as you lit a cigarette
silently, and burnt my fingers
moving your eyes guiltily
a sudden chill cutting me
i ached and cried

nights ending like novels
jezabel in a pool of blood
a ship moved to sea
you to him
pale as a ghost you went
staying there till light
a skin and bone stripling
with a funeral smile
and when he held you
i ached and cried.
(Translated by YUSUF ERADAM, FRANK REYNOLDS, GÜLER SİPER)

ORUÇ ARUOBA

SELECTED PASSAGES FROM ON LIFE (THAT)
To Borağan (*)

(Authoritative translation. I.e., this translation has been approved by Oruç Oruoba)

1.
Your life, basically, will be the process of your trying to be
independent and selfsufficient—at birth you were wholly
dependent; and at the end, at death, —if you can succeed—you
will be able to be wholly independent.

But, between the two (birth and death), your life will always be
a development: not a ‘progress’; a development, in this or that
direction…

In the direction of being selfsufficient and independent, your
development will always be a road you walk on passing through the
relationships you fashion with other persons.

Your independence will pass through your dependencies.

Rendering your life independent is possible only in dependencies
—so that making your life free should be incessantly tying it
up somewhere, and then breaking it off.

Life cannot liberate itself without breaking away—
but it cannot break away without first tying itself up
Liberation in your life will always be being tied
Tying yourself up—and then breaking off your ties.

2.
Your life will pass fighting against tendencies (including your
own) that will try to keep you below the level of life you need
to reach.—And therefore, you will not be able to reach the
level you need to reach; that is, in the end, those tendencies
will be successful. Maybe, this is what they want anyway: that you
should be kept below the level you need to reach while fighting
against them…

But still, you will fight: the result will be the same anyway
—weren’t you to remain below the level you need to reach
anyway?—But, if you fight, you will at least reach wherever
you can fighting—and that will not be in vain.

(Oruç Aruoba, continued…)

6.
Every step you will want to take in life
will have a price : you will be able to take that step
only when you are ready to pay that price—you will not be able
to pay the price in advance; if you are not ready to take the
step, you can’t pay the price: At the time of taking the step,
you will have become ripe enough to pay the price.

7.
Your life is the place you will want to go—anyway,
since you live this life, you have wanted to go there,
and that you want it: life is the place you go—and the place
you want to go; and the place you will go anyway.
—You are there already anyway…

12.
In life, you will frequently find yourself in situations you
don’t want to be in—but, when you look back to think about
the reasons that placed you in these situations, you will see
that you got in these situations because of your wanting to enter
situations—when you trace the chain of situations in your life,
what you will find will be nothing else but yourself.

In your life, you will always want to enter situations
which you will never want to get in–and, will enter them…

13.
You will always try to live your life in advance—
but this is impossible: your life will become your life
only after it is lived—after you live it.

You cannot live your life without living it
—your life is your life only when you live it.

But you will not be able to help trying to live your life
in advance: the lessons you take out of the life you have
lived that far will take you to certain crossroads—
and there too, they will force you to take decisions
as to which way to continue’this way’ or ‘that’:
You must take those decisions.

But your life does not care about your decisions—
it brings you face to face with such situations that all those
supposedly deeply thought out decisions, directions, targets
fly away: simply because they have not been lived,
that’s just it.

So, your life is carried away by what’s lived
—your life, anyway, is that:—
Your life is what you have lived
— not what you have decided to live
or wanted to live…

18.
You must live your life without expecting anything.

You know how much you expect;
you will still expect them (you cannot help it);
but you will live knowing
what your expectations mean,
and if what you expect somehow come true one day,
you will also know what they mean.

You must live knowing what you expect—
but without expecting: knowing that the one
you expect most, even if it comes true one day,
will never come in the sense you expected it to…

Your life will be an expectation—but
you must live without expecting.

19.
Your life will be the not coming true of what you expected—
and so it will be your expecting what you know will not come
true.

25.
In your life you will find two fundamental values:
love and friendship. Sometimes, one of the two
will seem to you to be more valuable than the other;
and sometimes the other—sometimes you will find
it difficult to decide which you need to consider more valuable
than the other; and sometimes, both of them will fall down to
equal valuelessness in your eyes.

But, you must not deny the fundamental values of life themselves
just because this love or that friendship happened to fall down:
with all the pain, you will preserve your respect for them—
and that will be your
third fundamental value.

28.
In your life, you will be able to live such things too:—

1) Calling someone up because you cannot find anything to say to him/her…
2) Waiting for someone to say that you will not be able to see him/her anymore…
3) Forsaking someone because you cannot stand not seeing him/her…

Oh, you will live so much!…

32.
In your life, the ones you will want to be closest to
will be the ones who feel most the need to be far from you.

33.
In life, no one will share—will be able to share—
your passions: you will always live and, live them,
and forget them.

You will live only;
You will live alone…

35.
Your life will be the process of losing certain things
—and also, later, the process to learn
that you haven’t in fact lost them…

What you have lived will not be lost—they will live.

If you have lived, really lived certain things,
you cannot lose them anymore—even if you want to:
even if you don’t want to; they will live…

You are what you have lived.—

Your life will be the process of losing what you have lived
and winning them back
—always the process of losing them,
and winning them back
again and again…

36.
Each moment you live
lives every moment
you live.

37.
Take your time living—you will sort of watch in awe
the shaping up of your life before you; and in the meantime,
you will feel, by means of some strange experience,
that you already knew in advance that your life
would be shaped in this direction.

Step by step, your life will be what it will be
with infallible steps—and you, in awe, while
watching its becoming, will know that this was to be so anyway…

You will know your life anyway.

48.
About _the ones who are inclined to exclaim
that “Life, brother, is wonderful to live!” (*),
you must pay attention to this:—

It’s true indeed what they say: life is beautiful
—and it is the one and only beauty that is—; but,
it always becomes what it is amidst the ugly; and what makes it
beautiful, is its pain and sorrow,
as much as its joys and delights,
which are their counterparts.

Life without pain is delightless,
and life without sorrow is joyless.

Life is having joyful pains,
and living delightful sorrows.

Your life will be
pain and sorrow, but joy and delight.

Your life will be
sorrow and pain, because joy and delight.

(*) a line in a Nazım Hikmet poem. The rest refers to a fundamental idea of Kant’s in The Critique of Pure Reason.

71.
What you will be able to do in life, will already be what you
will be able to—but what you have been able to do might be
less than what you might have been able to do: you might have
missed—do not be afraid of this, do not avoid it; anyway, if
you could determine what you have been able to do independent of
what you might have been able to do, you would then be
‘Almighty’!

Never mind what you might have been able to do—do what you
are able to!

72.
The ‘ultimate’ sum of your life—that
you will never be able to know—
will exclude nothing:
All your achievements will find their places in this sum—
and also your failures, which, anyway,
will not have been a part of your life;
they will stay out: they will already
have stayed out.

Whatever you have in your life,
will remain.

73.
The purpose of life, which you haven’t been able to find in any
definite phase of your life, lies in it all the way.

You will continuously search for the purpose of life and will not
be able to find it; that will be what will show you the way 
and that is precisely the purpose…

(Authoritative translation by YUSUF ERADAM)

(*) This section in Aruoba’s book Say That (De Ki İşte) is dedicated to Borağan, his son, who was eleven years old when the book was completed.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES FOR THE POETS

(Surnames in alphabetical order)

BİLGİN ADALI
Born in Safranbolu in 1944. He graduated from Ankara University, Department of Press and Publishing. He worked at the Turkish Radio TV and at the Department of Fine Arts of Ege University.

GÜLTEN AKIN
Born in 1933, Ms. Akın is Turkey’s most distinguished, most respected and quoted woman poet. She studied law at Ankara U. and worked as a barrister in several parts of Anatolia. She has taken her place in the forefront of poets for whom poetry is synonymous with social responsibility. Many collections and numerous awards. She lives in Ankara.

METİN ALTIOK
He graduated from the Geography Department of Ankara U. He worked as a civil servant and teacher. He tried to stay out of the prevalent poetic movements, writing his own intimate poetry. Many collections of poems and awards. He was murdered by the Islamic fundamentalists in the hotel fire in Sivas, in 1993.

MELİH CEVDET ANDAY (poet, playwright, novelist, essayist and translator)
He was born in Istanbul in 1915. After high school he studied sociology for a while in Belgium and chose journalism later. Since 1940 he has been a prominent figure on the Turkish literary scene. In 1971 UNESCO honored him as one of the world’s major literary figures. Since 1954 he has been working at the Istanbul Municipality Theatres as a tutor and has a column in the most respectable newspaper CUMHURIYET (The Republic). Mr. Anday
is a most influential figure on the reading public, in fact a living legend. He died in Istanbul, in 2002.

AHMED ARİF
He was born in Diyarbakır in 1927. When he was a student at the Faculty of Letters of Ankara University, because of his political activities he was put in jail and as a result he had to quit studying. Later he earned his living as a journalist. He is one of the most frequently recited and quoted revolutionary poets after Nazim Hikmet Ran. Ahmet Arif died in 1991.

ORUÇ ARUOBA
Born in Karamürsel in 1948, Aruoba is graduate of Hacettepe University, Ankara, Philosophy Department, where he taught philosophy for many years. Being against academic philosophy, Mr. Aruoba quit teaching for his writing career and is now a revered author, philosopher, translator, with several volumes of philosophy and poetry, especially haikus. He is famous but this hasn’t made the rounds yet. Mr. Aruoba lives in Istanbul and Bodrum.

ÖZDEMIR ASAF
He was born in Ankara in 1923. He quit studying law and economy and took up journalism and printing. Known to be the poet of the art of paradox, Mr. Asaf is one of the most popular,
easily remembered and quoted poets of contemporary Turkish poetry. He died in 1981.

ECE AYHAN
Born in Datça in 1931. Graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences at Ankara U., worked as a civil servant and governor. Published poetry since 1954. He is a most distinguished member of the Second New Wave movement in contemporary Turkish poetry. Numerous books of poetry, of memoirs, interviews. He died in 2002.

BEHÇET AYSAN
He completed his medical studies in 1984 and worked as a psychiatrist in Ankara until his death in the Sivas massacre in 1993. Many collections of poems and many awards including the ABDİ İPEKÇİ PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP AWARD, instituted to contribute to peace between Greece and Turkey, in the name of the assassinated journalist.

MEHMET BAŞARAN
Born in 1926. Poet, novelist and short story writer. He graduated from the Village Institute in 1946. While doing his military service he was demoted from reserve officer to sergeant
for political reasons. He worked as a teacher until 1979 and was one of the founding members of the Teachers’ Union. Then he worked for several encyclopedias. He became one of the pioneers of the rural movement in poetry, which became very popular in the decade 195060. In his work, he assimilated and reflected the idea of socialism without being didactic. Many books and awards.

ILHAN BERK
He was born in Manisa in 1916. Graduated from the Department of French Literature of Gazi University and worked as a teacher and translator. He died in Bodrum in 2008 as one of the veterans of modern Turkish poetry.

EDIP CANSEVER was born in Istanbul in 1928. Started publishing poetry in 1944. Many books and awards. He died in 1986 leaving a name as one of the best poets of Turkey.

ALI CENGIZKAN was born in Ankara in 1954. He graduated from Middle East Technical University, Department of Architecture, where he is now the chairman. Started publishing his poems in 1977. Has many books of poetry and awards.

NECATİ CUMALI was born in 1921 in Cuma (now Florine in Greece). Graduated from the
School of Law, Ankara University. Worked as a solicitor for a while and then took up writing to earn his living. He produced almost in every genre, and published novels, stories, essays,
plays, but he is mostly celebrated for his poetry. Many books and award. He died in 2001. There is now a poetry award given after his name.

FAZIL HÜSNÜ DAĞLARCA
Born in Istanbul in 1914, Mr. Dağlarca was one of the most revered poets of Turkey’s literary scene. He completed the Kuleli Military School and worked as an officer all over Turkey. He quit the army in 1950 and opened a bookstore in 1959 and took to publishing. Soon he became one of the most prolific poets. Numerous books and awards. He died in 2008.

YUSUF ERADAM
Author of 12 books, translator and editor of many, Eradam is a poet, short-story writer, translator, song and lyric writer and a photographer and a retired full professor of American culture and literature. He was born in 1954 in Central Anatolia, Turkey. Graduated from Darüşşafaka, a boarding school for orphans, in Istanbul and the Department of English Language and Literature of Hacettepe University (Ankara) and received his MA in1979 and PhD in 1986 from Hacettepe (unpublished dissertation in English: The Haunted Individual in David Mercer’s Stage Plays). Later, he studied and received his M.A. TESOL with his dissertation Literature in Language Teaching from Moray House College of Education, Edinburgh. He worked as a waiter, a cook assistant and as a mocamp attendent during his college years, and later as a professor of the English language, and American Culture and Literature at Hacettepe and Ankara universities. He taught comparative literature and film at UNLV (1994) and SVSU (Michigan, 1999). He is the founder of Translation Studies of Haliç University, a founder of ASAT (American Studies Association of Turkey and of ÇEVBİR (Book Translators Association). A member of the Pen and Contemporary Performing Arts Group in Istanbul, Eradam has been writing theatre criticism since 2004. With many awards in fiction, music and photography, he is also known for his translations of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel poems, Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy and Melville’s Bartleby. He has held four photography exhibitions for the benefit of Darüşşafaka, one in Michigan in 1999 after the earthquake in Turkey. Now he lives in Cihangir, Istanbul, teaching “Special Topics in American Film” and “Popular Culture & the USA” at Bahçeşehir University and is working on his first novel and play. (www.yusuferadam.com)

ŞÜKRÜ ERBAŞ
Born in Yozgat in 1953. He graduated from the Social Sciences _Department at Gazi Teacher Training Institute, Ankara. He lives in Ankara and has been working in the public sector. Many collections of poetry and awards.

MÜŞTAK ERENUS
Poet, novelist, lawyer. Author of numerous books, Mr. Erenus was born in Afyonkarahisar in 1915. He calls poetry his “colorful suffering,” his “ever shining window, his beloved.” Being a truely humanistic poet, he has devoted all his life and art to the wellbeing of his people, always together with them. His main concern and theme is children and youth. Erenus lived in Istanbul, on one of the Princess Islands until he died in 2002.

MELİSA GÜRPINAR
Born in 1941. She is a poet and playwright. She graduated from the Drama Department of the Istanbul Conservatory in 1964. She studied drama in London and prepared programs on cultural topics for the BBC during her stay there. Many collections of poetry. Ms. Gürpinar lives in Istanbul.

NAZIM HİKMET (RAN)
The poet laurate of Turkey, Mr. Hikmet was born in Salonika (now in Greece) in 1902 and died in Moscow in 1963 in exile. He spent many years in jail and Turkish reading public was forced to forget him for decades. He worked for many journals and newspapers and also in the movie making industry. In 1938 he was arrested and sentenced to 28 years imprisonment. He was set free in 1950 after the amnesty and quit Turkey in 1951 and lived abroad till his death. He is the leading figure of modern Turkish poetry in content and style. His filmscripts, plays, essays, novels have also been published, mostly after his death. Now he is revered and quoted not only by the leftist intellectuals but by everyone supporting human rights and peace.

RIFAT ILGAZ
The peak of Turkish humour and satiric fiction, was born in Cide in 1911. Making his fame with his series of novels entitled HABABAM CLASS, and leaving numerous stories, novels and poems behind, he died in Istanbul in 1993 because of a heart attack immediately after he heard that his writer and poet friends were burnt to death at the Sivas massacre by the Islamic fundamentalists.

ATTILA ILHAN
Poet, novelist, essayist, scriptwriter. Born in Menemen in 1925. He quit studying law at Istanbul U. and took up journalism and writing in 1949. Mr. Ilhan is one of the most distinguished and prolific contemporary writers of Turkey and has many books and awards. He is also a most famous orator and talks on TRT on literary and historical topics once a week.

ORHAN VELI KANIK
He was born in Istanbul in 1914 and died there in 1950 after he fell into a ditch on his way. He studied literature and philosophy at Istanbul University. Then took literature actively. Published one of the most important literary journals in Turkey, YAPRAK (Leaf), and together with Oktay Rifat and Melih Cevdet Anday he started “The Garip Movement” in Turkish literature, which basically advocates simplicity in style and the poor, common people as its subject matter. Orhan Veli is still inspiring many young poets to be.

CEYHUN ATUF KANSU
Graduate of the Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul U., Specialized as a pediatrician. Started publishing his poetry in 1938. He went through the natural experience of assimilating folk poetry of syllabic verse. Later he returned to the same source, this time being enriched with the ideals of populism and nationalism. He gave successful examples of socialistrealist poetry in his poems published in 1950s and 60s. Many collections of poetry and essays. After his death in 1978, a poetry award was instituted in his name.

ONAT KUTLAR
Poet, shortstory writer and cinema writer. Studied law at Istanbul U. and philosophy in Paris. Several collections of poetry and stories. His stories are usually from the point of
view of a child, occasionally surrealistic, mystical. Winner of some awards, Mr. Kutlar was assassinated in 1994 by the Islamic fundamentalists in the bombing of a hotel cafe in Istanbul.

CAHIT KULEBI
Born in Tokat in 1917, Mr. Külebi was one of the most revered contemporary poets of Turkey. Graduated from Istanbul Teacher Training College, Department of Turkish Language and Literature. Worked as a teacher and inspector for years. Numerous books and awards. He lives in Ankara and has recently been honored by the Presidential award for his literary merits. He died in Ankara in 1997.

MURATHAN MUNGAN
Poet, playwright, essayist, shortstory writer and novelist. Born in Istanbul in 1955. One of the most famous writers of Turkey not only due to his literary merits but also for his being the first “out” gay writer in Turkey. Numerous books and awards. Lives in Istanbul.

BEHÇET NECATIGIL
He was born in Istanbul in 1916. Graduated from the Teacher Training School and started teaching. Published his poems after 1935. Many books and awards. He died in 1979.

ISMET OZEL
Born in 1944. Holds a degree in French Language and Literature from Hacettepe U. He taught French at the State Conservatory of Istanbul. Many collections of poetry. With his
agressive lyricism, he aimed at a new awareness of social responsibilities. But in the l970s he moved towards a mystical and islamic view of life, without losing the strength of expression and inventiveness which he had evolved during his socialist period. Mr. Ozel lives in Istanbul.

OKTAY RİFAT was born in Trabzon in 1914. Studied social sciences in Paris and worked as a solicitor for many years. He was one of the founders of the “Garip” movement in Turkish poetry. Later he wrote more sophisticated poetry under the influence of French surrealists. He has many books of poetry, plays and novels. Mr. Rifat died in 1988.

YEŞİM SALMAN was born in Istanbul in 1940. She spent her childhood in Arnavutköy, Istanbul. She graduated from American High School for girls and Robert College (now Bosphorus University), Chemistry Department. She taught at Darüşşafaka High
School, which is for poor orphans and when she was teaching there, she lost her ability to walk after a car accident. She started writing poetry in 1990. She died in 2006 leaving two collections of poetry behind: All of A Sudden, and The Book of Time.

TAHSİN SARAÇ (poet, translator) was born in Muş in 1930. After graduating from Gazi University he took up teaching French and literature. He started publishing poetry in 1960. Many books of poetry and translations, some of which received awards. Tahsin Sara‡ died in 1989.

SENNUR SEZER
Poet, essayist, book reviewer. Born in 1943, Ms. Sezer taught at various high schools. She was exiled and therefore quit teaching after the military takeover in 1980. Many books of
poetry.

CEMAL SÜREYA
Poet, author, translator. Born in Erzincan in 1931. Graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences at Ankara U. Quit his job in 1965 and took up writing. With his experimental
style and technique he soon became one of the leading original poets of rare sensibility. Mr. Süreya died in 1992.

TUĞRUL TANYOL
Born in 1953. He studied sociology at the Bosphorus U., Istanbul. He is currently a lecturer in the Social Sciences Department at Marmara U. He has written in various periodicals on poetry in general and on Turkish poetry in particular, and has edited two poetry periodicals. Several collections of poetry and awards.

ÜLKÜ TAMER (poet and translator) was born in Gaziantep in 1937. Studied at the School of Journalism and acted on stage and in movies. He worked for various newspapers at various positions. Many books of poetry and translations, some of which received awards.

GÖKHAN TOK (born in Ankara in 1972) is a young and promising writer. He graduated from the Sociology Department of Middle East Technical University and is now a postgraduate student at the same department. Mr. Tok lives in Ankara and is working at
TUBiTAK, The Turkish Foundation of Science and Research.

KEMALETTIN TUGCU, one of the legends of Turkish popular writing, was born in Istanbul in 1902. As he could not walk, he could not attend any school and started writing in 1932. He wrote stories, poems and novels only and only about the grief of poor children. He has over 500 books and that is why he considered himself the richest man on earth. Mr. Tuğcu died in 1997, at the age of 95.

MEHMET YAŞIN
Born in Cyprus in 1959. Graduated from the Political Science Department at Ankara U. He worked as a journalist in Cyprus for some time. Several poetry collections and awards.

CAN YÜCEL was born in Istanbul in 1926. He studied Latin and Greek at the Faculty of Literature of Ankara University. Stayed and studied in the U.K. for a while. One of the living legends of Turkish literary scene, especially among the revolutionaries, Mr. Yucel is known for his courageous statements, fearless heart, and his subtle and humorous use of Turkish in his poetry. He is also famous for his translations from American and British literature, especially for his adaptations from Shakespeare. On his 70th birthday, he said that he does not play with words but that words play with him. He died in 1999.