Deck passengers

Büyük İnsanlik by Nazim 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”

Science is a candle in the dark

We wait for light, but behold darkness. ISAIAH 59:9 Işığı bekliyor, fakat karanlığa sığınıyoruz.  İŞAYA 59:9 It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. ADAGE Karanlığı lanetlemektense, bir mum yakmalıyız.  ÖZDEYİŞ  All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike — and yet it is the most precious thing weContinue reading “Science is a candle in the dark”

What does Fischergemeinden even mean?

From Dancing on Ropes: Translators and the Balance of History by Anna Aslanyan: The question of multilingual communication became especially poignant when Britain voted to leave Europe.  The 2018 Brexit white paper, published in twenty-two EU languages, was in parts translated spectacularly badly — or appeared ‘very mythical’, as one German-speaker politely put it.  AnotherContinue reading “What does Fischergemeinden even mean?”

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”

Fighting words

Once accusations, justified or not, are made against someone’s language skills by someone who has none, respect is hard to regain. Anna Aslanyan, Dancing on Ropes: Translators & the Balance of History 

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”

A strangeness in my mind

Epigraph from Orhan Pamuk’s Kafamda bir Tuhaflık / A Strangeness in my Mind: Vatandaşlarımızın şahsi görüşleri arasındaki farkın derinliği devletimizin gücünün kanıtdır. The gulf between the private and public views of our countrymen is evidence of the power of the state. Celâl Salik, Milliyet Illustrations by Orhan Pamuk