The word is friendly

“Turkish is like English from England. You can tell from the way that somebody is speaking what social class they’re from, what region of the country they are from, and that’s it…  You can hear it in the speech and in certain grammatical constructions.  American English is also sort of like that.  It would beContinue reading “The word is friendly”

Deck passengers

Büyük İnsanlik by Nazım Hikmet The Great Humanity The great humanity travels as deck passengers by ship By train in third class By foot on the roads Great humanity. Büyük insanlık gemide güverte yolcusutirende üçüncü mevkişosede yayanbüyük insanlık. The great humanity goes to work at age eight Marries at twenty Dies at forty Great humanity. BüyükContinue reading “Deck passengers”

Stalactite – Damlataşı

Stalactite – Damlataşı by Karin Karakaşlı Should tears grow larger Will they form stalactites? You know, like in caves where for fifteen years Drip drip flowing and freezing Freezing mid-flow Gözyaşını büyütüncedamlataşı olur mu?Hani şu mağarada on beş yıldamla damla akıp donanDonup akan You’d be surprised by how stone lives I once saw a stone’sContinue reading “Stalactite – Damlataşı”


Civilian by Karin Karakaşlı They won’t look like much, no matter what you do School skirts If you roll them up at the waist Or take them in They’re still that same mousey gray Ne etsen bir şeye benzemez okul etekleriÜstten kıvırdığında da daralttığında da değişmez Hep o aynı faremsi gri You know what it is to tryContinue reading “Civilian”

Keep your ontological distance

Ontological Distance by Karin Karakaşlı When you see me, take a step back Let’s keep our ontological distance Could be that you’ll find yourself overwhelmed By the truth of your soul And won’t be able to get past the feeling In fact, in order to have a pretext, You really always need distance To makeContinue reading “Keep your ontological distance”

Gökyüzü bulut bulut uyanıyordu

Mornings of Jasmine / Yaseminlerin Sabahı by Şükrü Erbaş Cloud by cloud the heavens awoke From god’s great solitude Trees clustered in single chorus in the mouth of birds In the moon’s hazy sentence, houses became illegible letters From the scent of jasmines came a light in the streets I went to sit in theContinue reading “Gökyüzü bulut bulut uyanıyordu”

Some love too little, some too long

from The Ballad of Reading Gaol, by Oscar Wilde Turkish translation by Özdemir Asaf Yet each man kills the thing he lovesBy each let this be heard,Some do it with a bitter look,Some with a flattering word,The coward does it with a kiss,The brave man with a sword! Her insan öldürür gene de sevdiğiniBu böyleContinue reading “Some love too little, some too long”

Things that cannot be forgotten

Unutulamayanlar Things that cannot be forgotten by Ümit Yaşar Oğuzcan Biliyorum, unutamayacaksın! Ağır ağır geçecek mevsimler Bir bir ağaracak saçının telleri Solacak albümde eski resimler I know you won’t be able to forget! The seasons will slowly pass The strands of your hair will gray one-by-one Old photos will fade in the album Beni hatırladıkçaContinue reading “Things that cannot be forgotten”

There are many

Susarak / While silent By Aziz Nesin Güneş altında söylenmedik söz yokmuş There’s not a word under the sun we’ve not said Bu yüzden geceleri soylüyorum sevdiğimi This is why I speak of love at night Ne gece ne gündüz yokmuş söylenmemiş söz Though there’s not a word unsaid in day or night Bende söylenmişleriContinue reading “There are many”

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 acresContinue reading “They won’t know”