AHMET HAMDI TANPINAR – BEYOND TIME

Posted: 15 September 2011 in AHMET HAMDI TANPINAR
Tags: ,

I am
not within time,
nor entirely beyond;
but in the flux
of an all-embracing, complete, indivisible moment.

All forms in a trance
of strange dream-tones,
even a windblown feather
is not as light as I.

My head a vast mill,
grinding out silence;
my heart a dervish
naked of cloak or goatskin,
who has reached his desire.

I perceive
the world become
a creeping ivy, rooted in me;
I swim at the centre
of a deep blue light.
1933

Translated by Ruth Christie

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (23 June 1901 – 24 January 1962) was one of the most important modern poet, novelists and essayists of Turkish literature. He was also a member of the Turkish parliament (the Grand National Assembly of Turkey) between 1942 and 1946.Tanpınar was born in Istanbul on the 23rd of June 1901. His father was a judge, Hüseyin Fikri Efendi. Tanpınar’s mother died at Mosul, when Tanpınar was thirteen. Because his father’s vocation required frequent relocaton, Tanpınar continued his education in several different cities, including Istanbul, Sinop, Siirt, Kirkuk, and Antalya. After quitting veterinary college, he resumed his educational career at the Faculty of Literature at Istanbul University, which he completed in 1923. As a literature teacher, he taught at high schools in Erzurum (1923 – 1924), Konya, Ankara, the Educational Institute of Gazi and the Fine Arts Academy. At the Fine Arts Academy, besides teaching literature, Tanpınar taught in branches of aesthetics in arts, history of art and mythology (1932 – 1939). From 1942 to 1946, he entered the Turkish National Assembly as parliamentar of Kahramanmaraş. In 1953, he made an extensive journey to Europe, traveling many countries within six months such as France, Belgium, Holland, England, Spain and Italy. Tanpınar died of a heart attack on the January 24, 1962 in Istanbul. His grave is in the Aşiyan Graveyard, Istanbul.

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