Closing the Poetry Month

April 1913 issue of the Poetry magazine
Cover of the Poetry  Magazine, April 1913

It is not an exaggeration to say that it would be surprising if you have not written any poetry in your youth even though you may hide it from everyone –even from yourself!

Thus, I have been writing poetry since my childhood, which is probably the common denominator of the people of the Mediterranean countries, rich or poor, wise or fool. You don’t have to be a poet to write a poetry, says an ancient Turkish poet; of course, one has to realize that not every poem you write makes you a poet.

The following poems of mine were written in Turkish and were then translated into English by me, humbly.  I promised Heather Simoneau, our Humanities Librarian, to contribute to the library’s celebration of the National Poetry Month. Here they are as the closing of the Poetry Month.

Let’s not forget life treats well those who treasure poetry. Until the next Poetry Month, “be well, do good work and keep in touch”*


Discourse on Poet’s Memory

He memorized everything he has ever lived, they say. Word by word.
But he doesn’t remember a thing: Blurred are all the images in his imagination.
Light bulbs with tuberculosis, paralyzed machine.
Gramophone’s needle touches to his heart.
cheap boulevard song hissing in the background.
They cut his speech at the podium. They mock him,
lower the mike’s volume at the climax of his poem.
It is a specialty to read poetry aloud.
The patriarch of Guild of Orators is so woeful,
his sermon is weeping with only consonants now.

“If we were as humble as sand
We would have had rain’s reputation”
Horses, Our Civilization
Sorrel stallions!
We never left you waterless
We replenished your food
Swept your feces; scraped your saliva from
the edges of water buckets, never ever complained,
as if we were in a worship service.

The world was spinning because you were walking
Trotting first, then galloping.
Our civilization has followed your march.

*Garrison Keilor’s closing line of his radio show Writer’s Almanac on NPR.

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