Image thief

Ayna (Mirror)

by Asaf Halet Çelebi

bana aynada bir suret göründü

an image appeared to me in the mirror

benden başkası

other than myself


bilmem memleket-i çînden midir

I don’t know of what land, maybe China?

ya mâçînden mi

or maybe beyond China?

sordum kimsin diye

who are you, I asked

bir kahkaha atıp

a burst of laughter came with the answer

ben çîn padişahının kızı

I’m the daughter of the Emperor of China


çoktandır aşıkınım dedi

I’ve been in love with you for a long time

dedim çık

o aynadan

come out of that mirror, I said,

hayalimi çalan

thief of my image

hayalim olmazsa olmasın

if you exist, I don’t really need my image

var olduğuna inanmak için
ellerim sana dokunsun

but for me to believe you exist, my hands need to touch you

bana çin padişahının kızı

the Emperor of China’s daughter said to me:

gelemem
dedi

I can’t come

ancak bir gün

but one day

hayalin gibi seni de

as I do with your image, I shall take you

bu aynanın içine alıp

into this mirror

kaybolacağım

and disappear

English translation by E. Geddes

Henri Matisse, Kitagawa Utamoro, William Merit Chase, Edgar Degas, Paul Delvaux

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