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Ahmet Oktay
Nacionalidad:
Turquía
E-mail:
Biografia
A BRlEF MOMENT OF HAPPlNESS
The moth conversing with the lamp light,
the sea has long leaked under the door,
is now intoxicated in the porch. It's only
a moment: the kind of happiness that comes
after the rain pouring through the vine;
in this mortal fief. While you reach
to your glass, your wife says, 'I saw death in your
cup this morning'. Ah, no shore
can defeat time,
still alive, as alive as ever
is the pain of fire. The sinking day
still distills a vision,
whichever florist you stop by
spreads upon you the smell of graveyard;
when you think you're safe you're closer.
the beach wets your feet, yet
the night is still full of the howls of
the flood. The eyes of the tortured
is no dream, no dream. You lived
like a summer's end: the bus stops under open fire,
you have born the taste of the water from the well
in your mouth since yesterday; and strolling inside you
is the gloomy voice of a Koran night.
It's only a moment: in this fight
you never know if it's the past
burning out the future. You put the glass down,
hold your wife by the hand; 'History
you say--is irresistible. And everything hints death
in a time of defeat'.

You blow out the lamp.

Translated by Sehnaz Tahir

FlRST WORDS OF SADNESS
Old lovers! The rose gardens
I spent my nights in. All I wrote
and all I said, I did to unveil
the secret
with a new
secret.
--Why does the road
lead in three directions:
forward, backward and to the side ?-
asked the child
on black days
when we lose
even our own image
in the mirror.
You who
remembers me
less
than a rainy day:
says Attar:
'How can a stray soul
answer your questiod'
Who shed each
other
like leaves! Is that Per Gynt
or an onion! Is there ever a snowy
day that does not dream
of a blooming night!
Twin meanings! 'Twin
Destinied'
How the marks
of a homecoming and departure intermingle
and the rose rotting on the ground
is a sign of life.
I, too, soaked myself for years
in the ink of sorrow,
thinking I would ripen.
In my
shaking
hand the pen borrowed from Sontag
and the pain it leaks:
in or out
'all journeys were made
to write and only write'.
Old lovers! The first
and sad words
of a conversation that starts
with death.

Translated by Sehnaz Tahir


BIOGRAPHY:
Ahmet Oktay
[b. 1933] worked for the Turkish State Radio and Television. His poetry and essays deal mainly with cultural issues. His poetry collections include Her Yuz Bir Oyku Yazar [Each Face Writes a Story / 1964winner of the 1965 Yeditepe Poetry Award], Dr. Kaligarinin Donusu [The Return of Dr. Kaligari / 1966], Surdurulen Bir Sarkinin Tarihi [History of a Sustained Song / 1981], Kara Bir Zamana Alinlik [Pediment for Dark Times / 1983], Yol Ustundeki Semender [Salamander on the Road / 1987winner of the 1987 Behcet Necatigil Poetry Award], Agitlar ve Ovguler [Elegies and Praises / 1991winner of the Poet of the Year Award given by the Turkish Writers Union], Az Kaldi Kisa [Its Almost Winter / 1996] and Hayalete Ovgu [Praise for a Ghost / 2001]. Among his books of critism and essays are: Bir Arayisin Yazilari [Texts of a Search / 1981], Yazin, Iletisim, Ideoloji [Literature, Communication, Ideology / 1982] and Karanfil ve Pranga [Carnations and Fetters / 1990].

aoktay@gmail.com

 

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