Tag Archives: Ataol Behramoğlu

A poem by Ataol Behramoğlu (b. 1942)

Hayatı ve Eserleri


I've learned one thing from having lived:
If you live, you should live it all in full force 
Your beloved should be exhausted from being kissed
You should be exhausted from smelling a flower

One could gaze at the sky for hours
Could gaze at the sea, a bird, a child
To live on earth is to blend into it, with it
To extend indestructible roots into it 

Once you embrace a friend, 
               you must do so evermore tightly 
Should you get into a fight, 
               you must lend it your whole body, your passion
And once you lie on the ever so warm sand
You should let yourself rest like a grain of sand,       
               a leaf, a piece of pebble

One must listen to all beautiful music 
               to the fullest
As though filling your entire being with sounds, melodies

One should plunge head-on into life
As though diving from a rock into the emerald sea

Distant lands should draw you in, people you don't know
You should crave with burning passion 
                to read every book, to get to know every life
You shouldn't exchange with anything
                the pleasure of drinking a cup of water
Yet be overcome with the yearning to live
                All joy that there is

And you should also live sorrow, honorably, 
                with your entire being
For, like joy, the pain, enables you growth
Your blood should mingle in the great circulation of life
Life's endlessly fresh blood should flow in your veins

I've learned some things from having lived:
If you live, you should live with might, 
                As though you are merging into the rivers,      
               Into the universe
For, what we call a human life is a gift given to life 
And life is a gift bestowed upon us

     Ataol Behramoğlu (b. 1942 in İstanbul, Turkey
     (Translated from the Turkish original)


Filed under Poetry