They won’t know

Bilmeyecekler

They won’t know

by Rıfat Ilgaz

Geride kalanlara ne bırakacağım,

Çocuklarıma,

Onların da çocuklarına?

What will I leave to those who are left behind,

To my children,

And to their children?

Olsa olsa

Karadeniz’den payıma düşeni…

Beş on evlek yer gökyüzünden.

At most

My little piece of the Black Sea,

Five or ten acres under the sky.

Ne vermek istedimse sağlığımda,

Ne veremedimse,

Gizlenip kaçışlardan.

The things I wanted to give them while in good health,

Were things I couldn’t give them,

What for fleeing and hiding.

Biliyorum bu yüzden

Yokluğumu çekmeyecekler,

Hep yaşıyormuşum gibi gelecek onlara

Biraz ötelerde, uzaklarda.

This is why I know,

They will not suffer from my absence,

To them it will be as if I were always alive

A bit apart, farther away.

Babamız diyecekler, dedemiz,

Dur durak bilmezdi,

Dert nedir, tasa nedir bilmezdi…

Neyi bildiğimi bilmeyecekler.

Our father, they will say,

Never sat still,

He didn’t know trouble, he didn’t know sorrow…

What I knew, they won’t know.

English translation by E. Geddes

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