This translation has been sitting on my computer for a while now; I think it’s time it’s come out to the light of day.




for Işıl


There you are, in the dark room again,

in your dark sleep.

I remember you smiling though, your giddy smile,

I used to love noticing birds, stooping

to drink from your dimples

and you wearing two dates for your eyes

sunny and warm.

Used to love noticing cockscombs standing up

to life in the pots where you’d planted them.

Beloved sister, what became of you?


It was on the ferry to Karşıyaka that my tongue

got used to bitterness. I’d drink putrid tea, staring at

the dark waters. I’d dream of a fish sleeping,

losing its dreams to the dark waters.

Two sparks off my cigarette,

what would they talk about, I wonder?

You’d worry about me, all the time,

and expect me for dinner, all the time.

When I found you in the warmth of our home,

The two sparks would meet, I’d feel,

with the dark sleep of the fish.

You’d leave a cube of sugar, I’d feel

on the tip of my tongue.


Last year at Hıdrellez time, you brought sand

from anthills, for prosperity.

I’d never seen prosperity like that

in a small, tiny bag

The papers in my wallet are still scarce

but the coins are scrambling,

up to the tip of my fingers, like cymbals.

Whenever I check my wallet now, petty people

are jumping over a bonfire of joy.

My dear, nobody ever turned poverty

into such a cheerful affair for me.


I used to have bad dreams all the time

An old hag would declare:

“Amid the blue flames,

this woman in red would be most fitting.”

I think somebody might burn me,

I’d insist in the morning.

Fire is good, you’d say, it means success,

you’ll succeed a lot.

If it wasn’t for you, my dear

who would put a silver lining

to your sister’s nightmares?


Why don’t you smile your giddy smile again,

I’d stop counting

The red roses on my bed sheet then.

I count and count and count,

endless roses,

time has no end without you.

Why don’t you wake up from that dark sleep

and see whether we have any sun left in the cellar?

Even if all the serotonin reuptake inhibitors united,

they couldn’t reuptake

a life that is as happy as a dream with a silver lining

or the solace offered by a handful of anthill sand.


Didem Madak


Here is the source text is anyone wants to compare.

Bu yazı English içinde yayınlandı ve olarak etiketlendi. Kalıcı bağlantıyı yer imlerinize ekleyin.

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