Sunday 31 October 2010

From a new anthology of contemporary Turkish women poets, first selection

This is my first selection from the new anthology, From This Bridge: Contemporary Turkish Women Poets, edited and translated by George Messo. Thanks to the publisher for bringing this book to my attention and allowing me to reprint poems here.

The New Bremen Harmonica Players

Why does the streetlamp lighting wet asphalt
Bring to mind a far off city
Gothic cities
Weighed down by winter and foreignness
And hotel rooms
Growing narrower in the middle of the night

A language that cracks like a whip
A thousand assorted things
And festive lights that estrange you

--Am I so far away from my home
If I fall will someone pick me up
Or will they first ask my identity--
Cold droplets on your brow
And the calling card getting wet in your hand

You seek a familiar word in the hoardings
Walk on keep your strangeness unsensed
Your residence papers will do you no good
You’re in the city of your birth

Sennur Sezer
Trans. George Messo
Conversation Paperpress, 2010

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