Tag Archives: Turkish

Luxuries, 3 (A HAIKU on Audio)


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HAIKU in Turkish

ne çare ilk kar
çocukların kanını

görmüyor bile

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 1.17.2018

Free Translation (self):

Alas! The first snow
does not even take notice
of the children’s blood

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. . .

babam canbabam güzel babacığım
o komşu apartmanlara destan kahkahan
kulaklarımda taptaze
oysa ki kaç yıl oldu
sana özgü o şaklamayı son kez duyalı

(aramızdaki son seneni saymayı reddediyorum)

ya takunyandan inşa ettiğin
yemek masamız altı
halımız üstü taban-tabana-kulen?
nasıl güldürürdük seni
televizyonu açmaya gider havalarında
gururla ayaklarına taktığın Alman yapımı terliğine
neredeyse halı altından
attığımız saygı sevgi yüklü çelmelerle . . .

June 14, 2017



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Mit meinem Dank an Lis/With my thanks to Lis/Lis’e teşekkürlerimle (Reblogged Post): “wünsche Euch einen guten Tag… — Gedichte, Zitate in Einklang mit Bilder……”

Hoffnung ist ein gutes Frühstück, aber ein schlechtes Abendbrot. *** von Francis Bacon

via wünsche Euch einen guten Tag… — Gedichte, Zitate in Einklang mit Bilder……

(The image is copyrighted by Lis.) The Francis Bacon quote in own (colloquial) English and Turkish translations:

Hope makes a good breakfast but it is lousy as dinner.
Umuttan iyi bir kahvaltı olur. Fakat akşam yemeği olarak beş para etmez.

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Invitation to a five-minute contemplation

~ ~ ~

sözün bittiği yer…
wenn worte* versagen…
when words fail…

~ ~ ~ 

* Intentional lower-case letter

Related Link: Terrorism – Our World in Data


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. . .

gene çocuklar aciz
gene çocuklar yetişkin acılar içinde
oysa ki çocuklar hep gülmeli

onları biz istemedik mi . . .

Turkish original by hülya n. yılmaz (2.27.2016)


children are helpless again
children in adult-size suffering again

children however must smile always
must be able to smile

aren’t we after all who wanted them .  . .

English translation by hülya n. yılmaz (6.13.2016)





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Bir dreisprachiger poem-draft

böyle sevilmez

i loved

o mu

could not have

seven mahvetmez

thema durch war ich für ihn am ende

but also a few undefined times before

in klaren verhåltnissen zu leben

arzusuna geçti uzun senelerinkinin yerine

gene hiç uyarmadan sakince birdenbire

aber du unverbesserlicher ignorant

keep refusing against your will still

dich aus deiner herzenstiefe zu befreien

bu kadar da aşka muhtaç olur mu bir can

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

© hülya n. yılmaz, 4.12.2016


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existential crisis or incomparable bliss?

POSTED.image for ölümü düşünüyorum














You would all believe me, if I told you he is far more beautiful than this picture does him justice, wouldn’t you? Yes! This image is of my grandson’s. His unintended pose here is utmost precious to me because the shoulder on which he has fallen asleep like an angel of my childhood fantasies happens to be mine. I remember having frozen my daughter right on the spot with my smile of who knows how many thousands of volt. My shoulder has been in this position many times before – in fact, my photo here is an older one when my tiny love had just made it to his two months (he is three-and-a half months old in his photo here). With my lucky charm’s shapely head, chubby cheeks, button nose, mother’s mouth and heavenly breath for me to inhale and never let go from inside me. And, those tiny hands with their father’s fingers – just recently freed from their sharp-nail-repellent baby mittens (his grooming kit is very difficult for his mom to near him with…)! Closing and opening at his dreams’ will to let me know I am there with him. In flesh and blood.

Then, I get to go home. Alone. Days go by fast with demanding work.  The nights should follow suit. For, a teacher’s duties multiply outside the classroom to occupy all evenings, weekends and holidays. I end up doing some more work. But, I get distracted (affordably so, of course) and have the urge to write. About many issues of and angles on our existences. The night when my poem below came to me was exceptionally intense in some personal longing and recollection of a recent loss (to life). I had already started mourning over my self without having exited my lifespan yet…On account of “things” not having been possible for me to materialize, nor to hope for, feeling out of time, and other similar harsh realizations. Being made foremost of emotions, my typing took me to an experience of angst. Not for myself, though, but rather only for the afterward. The ultimate innocence, a fully submissive display of trust, the purest and most unconditional love and eyeful of whole body excitement my grand baby was giving me as a priceless gift began to overwhelm me. It was, as if I had just realized what had happened: I, indeed, was the grandmother of a miracle baby boy. Moreover, with him becoming acutely aware of and visibly happy about the wordless interaction between us. Melancholy hit me. The outcome was the following short verse in my native tongue…(an English translation of it is right beneath the original):


ölümü düşünüyorum

eskimiş kalıbıma konup duran inanılmaz bir güzellik nefesinde

yol yorgunu soldakine en karşılıksız masum sevgi gözlerinde

hani cennetten derler ya, işte öylesine kökten gülüşlerinde

korkum sadece benden sonra göreceklerine


i am thinking of death

an indescribable beauty in his breath touching on and off my worn out frame

the most unconditional purest love in his eyes for the trek-weary one on my left

you know how they say: of heaven? such original depth in his smiles

my sole fear

what will he be dealt with

after me

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I wish you all thoughts on and plans for life alone and look forward to your visit next Sunday!


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Cemal Süreya


Have you ever had any moments when you wished to have met an individual no longer alive?  This desire seems to be visiting me often, and in particular, when poets, writers, and thinkers are concerned.  It happened again when I watched the following recording from the post-60s Turkish television archives:



By giving me a sweet surprise from his grave – his laid back wittiness, Cemal Süreya immediately appealed to me as my focus for this November Wednesday.  While live on television to talk on the state of literature in the country, the program host asks the poet the issue with the infamous misspelling of his last name.  (When spelled with double “y”, it mostly identifies a woman in Turkish.)  Süreya replies in polite indifference: “I lost a bet.  About twenty years ago.  Since I had two of them, I didn’t mind giving away one of the ‘ys’.”

I also wanted you to have a taste of one of Süreya’s perhaps most frequently cited poems, “Aşk” (Love) in its original language.  For that, I am resorting to yet another video recording, in which Bülent Yakut delivers an utterly successful reading:



As for the poem I have selected to translate for you from many of Cemal Süreya’s lyrical collections, it highlights a rare find as far as the subject matter.  The original version in Turkish appears first, as it has been my practice all this month:

Afrika dediğin bir garip kıta

El bilir alem bilir

Ki şekli bozulmasın diye Akdeniz’in

Hala eskisi gibi çizilir


An amazing continent, this Africa

Strangers know it the universe knows it

That it is drawn on maps

as it used to be

not to blemish the shape of Mediterranean Sea

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Can Baba (Can Yücel)


Continuing on my nostalgic November trip to the writers’ and artists’ circles in Turkey, I want to introduce you to Can Yücel, a poet to whom many biographers refer as “Can Baba” – Father Can (non-religious connotation).  His poetry stands out with his use of colloquial Turkish, thus, making poetic compositions a product for the masses.  The video below demonstrates a flawless reading performance of one of Can Baba’s most popular poems – “The Most Beautiful Part about Being with You”:

For my translation, I have chosen a different poem by Can Baba, namely his “Hayal Oyunu” – “A Play with Imagination”:

Hayal Oyunu

Ellerindi ellerimden tutan
Ellerimdi ellerinden tutan…
Bıraktığı anda ellerimiz ellerimizi
Gökyüzüne vuracaktı gölgeleri ellerimizin
Kimbilir kaç martılar halinde

Bir masada karşı karşıya
Seyrederken dudaklarını senin
Dile gelmiş ilk Türkçeydik
Henüz başlamış kül rengi bahar
Ne savaş, ne barıştık biz…

Bu dünyaya yeni gelmiş bir diyar
Manolyaya gece konmuş kumrular…

A Play with Imagination

It was your hands holding mine

Mine, holding yours…

The shadows of our hands were going to hit the sky

As soon as our hands left our hands

Who knows? In the form of how many sea gulls


We were the first spoken Turkish

While I was beholding your lips

At a table, across from one another

We were the newly setting smoke-colored spring

We were neither war nor peace…


A realm newly born in to this world

Doves, perched on the magnolia in the night…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I hope you have enjoyed your visit this Wednesday.  I look forward to you stopping by next week again but also for your visit to my Sunday Reflections.


Filed under Reflections