Tag Archives: loss

Toward a book project, “letter-poems to the beloved” – Week Two


 Image Credit: ideami.com




have you ever eaten *helva, my love

to the sizzle of the slowly melting butter

anxious in its wait to savor each flake of sugar

the scent of the browning flour in your breath

milk drops rapt in a dance of the delicate blend

yearning for the ultimate sweet feast?


have you ever eaten helva, my love

when sugar though was no longer to be found?


© hülya n yılmaz – March 26, 2014

From the “letter-poems to the beloved” collection

 [*With “helva,” I refer here to the Turkish dessert, “un helvası” (flour halwa).]





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Toward a book project, “letter-poems to the beloved” – Week One

Good Sunday, dear reader!

You know my predicament: I am passionate about writing but I also love teaching. Beyond loving my decades-long professional commitment, I am having to allocate most of my time to its demands. The new semester is coming to a fast end but in an immensely time-consuming manner. I find it more and more difficult in this final month to reserve their deserved time aside for my Sunday reflections – to do any qualitative research on some issues of larger interest to us all, that is. I hope you won’t mind terribly, if I were to share with you one of my new poems for the end of each of the next few weeks. What I would very much appreciate from you is, any few minutes you may be able to set aside to comment on each poetic construct. If that were to be too much to ask, then, perhaps you would be willing to suggest a title for a larger writing project I have in mind in which to collect all these poems. In case you have an active account on facebook, some of them will appear familiar to you, as I have posted them on my page and/or timeline on that platform. What I have conceived so far for the project in question is in line with my core existential determinant – as I articulated it in my debut book:

“Love and melancholy. Two traits that defined me throughout my life thus far. Not very different from Oğuz Ozdeş’ Hülya – the young woman whose tragic love captivated my mother to the extent that she adopted her name for me. As I have said before, I have a commitment to love. When it comes to melancholy, I am considering a healing interaction with it – an initiative I have already prompted with my poems for Trance. I do intend to accomplish a continued healing, though. To begin to achieve such endeavor, I may have to write a different ending to Hülya but to hülya as well. And, I believe I will (from: Preface, Trance, a collection of poems in English, German and Turkish).”

I very much look forward to your comment and your next visit. May the rest of your day and new week be filled with joyous events and interactions.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

do you think back

to remember it all

how i lain on the mossy ground

blanketed myself with your scent

the quiet creek of our first encounter

encircling the rays of an afternoon sun

how it slowed its path to honor our euphoric reunion

to watch us flow into one another – learned and approved…

wind and air however envied pulled their forces together

thus came an end in a lightning – fiercely brash


my graceful i kept at bay its dire hope to let you float

what ifs of our dread are adamant in haunting me yet

would i have now been immersed by you instead

had i not defied the boulder at the barricade…


i was meant to love you

and i still do


© hülya n yılmaz – March 14, 2014


POSTED.image for meant to love you


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“Eşkiya” and an afterthought


The scene shown above is claimed to be the most critical representation of the film “Eşkiya,” a groundbreaking contribution to contemporary Turkish cinema.The plot summaries in English of my finding don’t dwell on what this excerpt reveals with succinct emphasis; namely, the Leitmotif that holds this artistic production together: the story of Baran and Keje.  It is a tale of love extending beyond the scopes of life and death, resonating the legendary loves in Turkish literature.  Such as that between Ferhat and Şirin (12th century), Leyla and Mecnun (16th century), Kerem and Aslı (16th century), and others.

Keje buries herself in silence and inaction when the man who betrayed Baran to unjust imprisonment becomes her husband after he buys her from her father. Thirty-five years later, Baran is free again.  His untiring search for his love embodies his only livelihood.

The storyline assumes numerous complications through unrelated events to create in Baran once again an innocent bystander of crimes he did not commit.  Alongside, Baran confronts at last his worst enemy.  In Keje’s presence.  Her silence – her way of mourning for the loss of her love to life, will cease only then – she has Baran understand – if she were to witness a falling star.  A symbol to her of a tortured soul attaining ultimate freedom – for both lovers…

While I can’t remember how far back in the past, I know exactly how I used to think about the phenomenon of love and its loss: a distinctive flair of melancholy lurked only over the people of Turkey – as with today’s few quick examples.  But then, I discovered famous names of non-Turkish roots with the same approach to this utterly uplifting, at the same time soul shattering reality of life.  And here I am, sharing some of my related deliberations with you in the form of a poem I have written recently:

when love is everything

among long-time friends once again

enduring the familiar left-side pain

decades surpassed their centuries

the hurt remains the same

an Immortal Beloved crafted life

birthed death ever so keen

a blazing desire in-between

oh geh mit, geh mit

oh accompany me, accompany me

Hebuterne embraced the call

Plath followed it with ease

Claudel suffered a living disease

King Edward VIII stunned the monarchy

etched to memory for lives to come:

the essence negates all that is told

nourishes from the authentic self;

sates and attains for evermore,

absolute ecstasy at the core.

For love is everything.

hülya yılmaz (October 3, 2013)

Have you ever grieved in deep sorrow for losing love but led yourself to conclude you had no right to mourn in the open because your loss was not one to death?

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Elegy – 6

I had recently composed this poem in German.  My translation method here is somewhat liberal.   I hope you will enjoy my work with the words in their English transformation.




no final contact

warning failed


despaired devastation,

destroying humiliation


self-respect, departed

massive grief, incapable of solace


too late to await

to expect at last

that what was evidenced

many years ago…



a mere I without a name


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Elegy – 5



right from the outset

ingesting all signals

subtle but intense


had the courage to cite

a woman’s invite to unite

an elite member of times long past

from the Empire of the Ottomans, at last


yet, the choice, firm, had been made

with not one miniscule hope left



right from the outset

this time, it is the end

must stop waiting to any further extent

for tomorrow’s ills are still to be met

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Elegy – 4


the tune, throbbing in my mind

heart, ripped off of its home

worthless body

can’t even say goodbye


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Two poems from Can Yücel on the loss of love

Uğruna fedakarlık yapmadığın sevgiyi,

yüreğinde taşıyıp da kendine yük etme!

[Poem Source: Can Yücel]


Don’t burden yourself by carrying in your heart

the love for which you made no sacrifice!

[Translation Source: Self]



Yar’la bir olmayınca

yer’le bir oluyormuş insan…

[Poem Source: Can Yücel]


I got it!

You get destroyed…

when not with the beloved

[Translation Source: Self]


Once you live of what the same poet speaks in two separate poems through seemingly contradicting emotions, you know the feeling of being torn is an integral part of the suffering.


Filed under Reflections