Posted: 05 October 2011 in HAYDAR ERGULEN

again a paper winter and cardboard suitcase
you’re like locals who think the cherry a fruit

“Alice in the Cities” a remote child
is our new captain: hey out there
we’ve got lots of water here, too,
don’t forget to bring your ships when you come!

I guess the sea fits some cities
like a word stuck in the wrong language,
missionaries seem to take the orange away
any child whose dreams are robbed
from other children would be remote

I guess the orange is the reason
why the child has lost himself homesick for the cherry

they think the child is ill, that when he passes
under the moon, he’ll turn blonde
the child has his stars, I guess, and his garden, too,
if only they’d give him some water there
and launch his cherryship in the desert inside him…

I guess you didn’t see the desert for the sandstorm
a pity, we hadn’t seen a stranger for so long
even Alice had come, the sea was translated
to a foreign tongue, the child wore a blonde mask
was going to forgive the orange,
if the salt between your two lips
hadn’t collected so much in your words
the wind would’ve blown twice in the same sentence
and the second time blown the poem off the paper

don’t take the cardboard suitcase on the ship,
sail off to the cherry! remote child
go to the city and sing us all!

Translated by Mel Kenne – Saliha Paker

Haydar Ergülen was born in Eskişehir, in 1956 and graduated from the Department of Sociology in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Middle East Technical University (METU). He has given lectures on Publications, Advertisement and Turkish Poetry at Anadolu University. He has worked as a copy-writer and written columns for newspapers, namely Radikal and Birgün. He currently has a column in Varlık, the most renowned Turkish literary periodical. He was in the group that produced the literary magazines Üç Çiçek (1983) and Şiir Atı (1986) in Istanbul. From 1979 onwards his works have been published in many literary periodicals such as Somut, Felsefe Dergisi, Türk Dili, Yusufçuk, Yarın, Gösteri, Yasakmeyve and Varlık. His first book of poems is entitled Karşılığını Bulamamış Sorular/Questions without Answers and was published in 1981. His other works include: Sokak Prensesi/Princess of the Streets (1990), Sırat Şiirleri/Poems on the Bridge to Heaven (1991), Eskiden Terzi/Former Tailor (1995), Kabareden Emekli Bir Kızkardeş/A Sister Retired from Cabaret (as “Lina Salamandre”, 1996), Kırk Şiir ve Bir/Forty Poems and One (1997), Karton Valiz/Cardboard Suitcase (1999), Hafıza/Memory (with the title “Hafız”, 1999), Ölüm Bir Skandal/Death is a Scandal (2000), Toplu Şiirleri: Nar/1.volume, 2000) (Poetry Collection), Toplu Şiirleri: Hafız ve Semender /Poetry Collection (2. volume, 2002), Keder Gibi Ödünç/Borrowed Like Grief (2005), Yağmur Cemi (Rain Djem) (2006), Üzgün Kediler Gazeli (Ghazal of Sad Cats) (2007).

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