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Turkish Poetry and Literature

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ORHAN VELI KANIK
(31 Messages in 4 pages - View all)
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1.       mella
202 posts
 29 Mar 2006 Wed 10:36 am

Orhan Veli Kanik
( 1914 - 1950 )
Son of the conductor of the Presidential Symphony, Orhan Veli received a good liberal education but left University of Istanbul in 1935 before completing his studies. He worked in the Ankara Post Office until he was called up during World War II. On his discharge in 1945 he obtained a post as translator in the Ministry of Education but left his job in less than two years to lead a Bohemian existance. His younger brother, Adnan Veli, himself a writer, was imprisoned for political offense in 1949 but Orhan Veli was able to publish a literary journal, Yaprak [Leaf], for 28 issues until a cerebral hemorrage ended his life.

I AM LISTENING TO ISTANBUL

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
At first there blows a gentle breeze
And the leaves on the trees
Softly flutter or sway;
Out there, far away,
The bells of water carriers incessantly ring;
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
Then suddenly birds fly by,
Flocks of birds, high up, in a hue and cry
While nets are drawn in the fishing grounds
And a woman's feet begin to dabble in the water.
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.
The Grand Bazaar is serene and cool,
A hubbub at the hub of the market,
Mosque yards are brimful of pigeons,
At the docks while hammers bang and clang
Spring winds bear the smell of sweat;
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
Still giddy since bygone bacchanals,
A seaside mansion with dingy boathouses is fast asleep,
Amid the din and drone of southern winds, reposed,
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.
Now a dainty girl walks by on the sidewalk:
Cusswords, tunes and songs, malapert remarks;
Something falls on the ground out of her hand,
It's a rose I guess.
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
A bird flutters round your skirt;
I know your brow is moist with sweat
And your lips are wet.
A silver moon rises beyond the pine trees:
I can sense it all in your heart's throbbing.
I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

Orhan Veli Kanik

Translated by Talat Sait Halman (1982)


ISTANBUL'U DINLIYORUM

Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali
Once hafiften bir ruzgar esiyor;
Yavas yavas sallaniyor
Yapraklar, agaclarda;
Uzaklarda, cok uzaklarda,
Sucularin hic durmayan cingiraklari
Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali.

Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali;
Kuslar geciyor, derken;
Yukseklerden, suru suru, ciglik ciglik.
Aglar cekiliyor dalyanlarda;
Bir kadinin suya degiyor ayaklari;
Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali.

Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali;
Serin serin Kapalicarsi
Civil civil Mahmutpasa
Guvercin dolu avlular
Cekic sesleri geliyor doklardan
Guzelim bahar ruzgarinda ter kokulari;
Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali.

Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali;
Basimda eski alemlerin sarhoslugu
Los kayikhaneleriyle bir yali;
Dinmis lodoslarin ugultusu icinde
Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali.

Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali;
Bir yosma geciyor kaldirimdan;
Kufurler, sarkilar, turkuler, laf atmalar.
Birsey dusuyor elinden yere;
Bir gul olmali;
Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali.

Istanbul'u dinliyorum, gozlerim kapali;
Bir kus cirpiniyor eteklerinde;
Alnin sicak mi, degil mi, biliyorum;
Dudaklarin islak mi, degil mi, biliyorum;
Beyaz bir ay doguyor fistiklarin arkasindan
Kalbinin vurusundan anliyorum;
Istanbul'u dinliyorum.

Orhan Veli KANIK



2.       ramayan
2633 posts
 29 Mar 2006 Wed 10:41 am

mella thanks..great work...aferin kız sana

3.       bliss
900 posts
 29 Mar 2006 Wed 12:06 pm

Orhan Veli Kanik, the great, offhanded modern Turkish poet. His translator, Murat Nemet-Nejat, describes Orhan Veli as a "funny, compassionate, rakish, sad, down-to-earth guy," which pretty much sums up why he is such an irresistible lyricist for scruffy rock songs
Murat also writes:
In November 1950, Orhan Veli Kanik died of a brain hemorrhage in Istanbul at the age of 36. He had fallen into a ditch drunk a few days beforehand. It was assumed that his falling unconscious and his ensuing death were the result of that accident. He had also been in a coma for twenty days in 1939 after an automobile accident. The short life, the heavy drinking, the love affairs, more than one coma in a lifetime hint at a life lived on the edge. They project the persona of a Romantic poet exploring new experiences.

The reality is different. Orhan Veli Kanik's poetry strikes one with its ordinariness and the aggressiveness of this ordinariness. His poetry is a mixture of daily life, streetwise humor and an undercurrent of lyricism. To me the most enduring image in the poem on himself, "I, Orhan Veli," is that he likes "puffed cheese pastries"; he admits to having lovers, but delicacy prevents him from mentioning any names. His poetry is a poetry of little details, a Hungarian restaurant, low level civil servants, alley cats, pets, etc.

This reminds me of the most famous Russian bard Vladimir Visotsky, Shakespeare-with-a-guitar as Russians called him.
I found many similarities in their lives.


I, ORHAN VELI


I, Orhan Veli.
The famous author of the poem
``Suleyman Effendi, may he rest in peace,''
Heard that you are curious
About my private life.
Let me tell you:
First I am a man, that is,
I am not a circus animal, or anything like that.
I have a nose, an ear,
Though they are not shapely.
I live in a house,
I have a job.
Neither do I carry a cloud on my head
Nor a stamp of prophecy on my back.
Neither am I modest like King George of England
Nor aristocratic like the recent
Stable keeper of Celal Bayar.
I love spinach.
I am crazy about puffed cheese pastries.
I have no eyes
For material things,
Really not.
Oktay Rifat and Melih Cevdet
Are my best friends,
And I have a lover,
Very respectable.
I can not tell her name.
Let literary critics find it.
I also keep busy with unimportant things,
Only between projects,
How can I say,
Perhaps I have a thousand other habits,
But what is the point of listing them all.
They just resemble these.

Orhan Veli
Translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat, 1989

4.       sophie
2712 posts
 29 Mar 2006 Wed 12:17 pm

And this is my favorite. I know I've posted it many times, in several topics, but here is where it really belongs.

YALNIZLIK SIIRI

Bilmezler yalniz yasamayanlar,
Nasil korku verir sessizlik insana;
Insan nasil konusur kendisiyle;
Nasil kosar aynalara,
Bir cana hasret,
Bilmezler...

THE POEM OF BEING LONELY

They don't know,
Those who don't live alone,
How frightening is
Soundlessness;
How a person talks to himself,
How he runs to mirrors,
Hungry for a soul,
They don't know it...

5.       bliss
900 posts
 29 Mar 2006 Wed 12:32 pm

That's my favourite too, dear Sophie.
Maybe because feel same way, ha?
But with your help(mean all my dear friends here) overcome that feeling(loneliness).
Love you all!!!

6.       ramayan
2633 posts
 29 Mar 2006 Wed 12:41 pm

bravo sophie mou..aferin kız sana bliss...thank u too ...nice work.

7.       slavica
814 posts
 29 Mar 2006 Wed 12:46 pm

Thanks a lot, Mella
You presented the poet we all love.
Thank you all, my friends, potry lovers
Instead of posting my favourite poems by Orhan Veli Kanık, I would recommend his traslated poems at Turkish Class Poetry Section, as an excellent selection from his work.

8.       slavica
814 posts
 29 Mar 2006 Wed 12:49 pm

Quoting ramayan:

bravo sophie mou..aferin kız sana bliss...thank u too ...nice work.


Ramayan, I think that you owe special gratitude to Mella, since, as I know, she made YOUR homework

9.       Elisa
0 posts
 29 Mar 2006 Wed 12:50 pm

Quoting mella:

Orhan Veli Kanik

I AM LISTENING TO ISTANBUL



Beautiful, thank you

10.       Elisa
0 posts
 29 Mar 2006 Wed 12:53 pm

Quoting sophie:

And this is my favorite. I know I've posted it many times, in several topics, but here is where it really belongs.

YALNIZLIK SIIRI

THE POEM OF BEING LONELY

They don't know,
Those who don't live alone,
How frightening is
Soundlessness;
How a person talks to himself,
How he runs to mirrors,
Hungry for a soul,
They don't know it...



I don't know enough about his works yet to be able to talk about a favourite one, but this one has a good chance..
Thanks Sophie

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