Nurduran Duman in translation: poetry

The Lily-Necked Girl

it was the kiss, was the voice, was the lips
it was the word on the palm
of the lily-necked girl: fallen
helplessly in love

when the woman blew the word away
it was the tongue, was the cheek, the neck
the woman walked to the water
towards the voice of the lily

it was the way, was the mother, the father
it was the eye, the particle of dust in the eye
it was that special pose
captured from a willowy poem
the salt sucked from its cheeks

it was the right-angled
shadow stuck in the sand
the water flowing downwards, upwards the fire
her face was the sky, the girl was yellow

it was the moment, one was too many,
the other too short
it was making love, being loved
being loving: what was to follow
was wave upon wave

was the stream, the stream’s depths, the sea.

Nurduran Duman
Translated by Tom Pow


Zambak Boyunlu Kız

öpüştü, sesti, dudaktı,
zambak boyunlu kızın
ayasındaki sözdü: tutulunca
aşk, üflediğinde kadın

dildi, yanaktı, boyun.
suya gitti kadın
sesine zambağın

yoldu, anneydi, baba
gözdü, göze kaçan toz
servi boylu şiirlerden
çekilip seçilen pozdu
yanaklarda emilen tuz

bir dik bir açılı
gölgeydi kuma çakılı
aşağı giden su, yukarı ateş
göktü yüzü, sarıydı kız

biri çok, biri kısa andı
sevişmekti, sevilmekti,
sevmek: sonrası dalgalı

denizdi, derindi, dere.

Nurduran Duman



Picture

inside me: an empty frame
inside the frame
fractured waters
a time-locked lake

a colourless end

a white swan’s wing
soft as smoke in my face
my face blacked out
in photographs

there is nothing white in the word “love”

this sadness this world of ash
flames spread from its brush
I didn’t burn

but I died

Nurduran Duman
Translated by Tom Pow



Resim

içimde boş çerçeve
kırık bir su
geçmiş zaman gölü

Renksiz son.

kuğu tülü
yüzümde duman
fotoğrafı siyah

Beyaz yok aşk sözünde…

bu hüzün bu söz külden
alev savruldu fırçasından
yanmadım

da öldüm.

Nurduran Duman



Half Circle Life

I swapped my life
for one that was cursed
to find that lost verse

I built walls of salt
in the two roomy eyes of my soul

I excavated to no effect;
I built castles of beaten gold.
I carried death in my right eye –
my life sprawled over the face of the earth.

I drank magic waters; I swam in them too –
that explains my troubled mind.

So that I might write that verse,
I settled my scores with a hopeless love.
there were times I turned ugly at midnight
I made love spewing hateful words.

I wove lovers and friends from cotton yarn
whenever I broke off a thread
I too was broken

Whomever I touched has been wounded
Yet sitting in this half life
I passed through the inner seas of love.

That’s why my one side is always half.

Nurduran Duman
Translated by Tom Pow



Yarım Çember

Bulmak için o yitik dizeyi
lanetli bir yaşamla
takas ettim kendimi
tuzdan duvarlar ördüm denize
bir adım iki göz evime

yoksul kazılar yaptım som kaleler
ölümü sağ gözüme gömdüm
dirimi sığdıramadım yerin yüzüne

sihirli sulardan içtim, yüzdüm de...
bu yüzden bulanıktır aklım

Yazmak için o dizeyi
lanetli bir aşkla ödeştim
çirkinleştiğim oldu gece yarıları
çirkef sözcüklerle seviştiğim

ilişkiler dokudum pamuk ipliği
kimi çizsem kırılmadım, koptum
kime dokunduysam yaralı

bir yarım çemberin üstünde
geçtim içdenizlerini sevginin

bir yanım hep yarımdır bu yüzden

Nurduran Duman


News

'I like to use the languages of the various arts – literature, music, theatre...I think that is the spirit of the modern global era.'- poet Ivan Hristov spoke to SJ Fowler of 3AM magazine about the evolution of the contemporary Bulgarian poetry scene.

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Cosmin Borza discusses the work of Romania's 'Generation 2000' poets, including Radu Vancu and Claudiu Komartin in an essay at Asymptote.

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At the Sofia Poetics festival, which was organised by Word Express participant Ivan Hristov, Scottish based poet Ryan Van Winkle caught up with fellow festival guests SJ Fowler and Tomasz Rózycki. To hear Fowler and Rózycki discussing their work and reading some of their poetry, listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast here.

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