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Vasko Popa
1.       catwoman
8933 posts
 06 Mar 2010 Sat 12:30 pm

Vasko Popa - 1922-1991 - Serbian poet who wrote in a succinct modernist style that owed more to French surrealism and Serbian folk traditions than to the Socialist Realism that dominated Eastern European literature after World War II.

Popa fought with a partisan group during World War II and then studied in Vienna and Bucharest before completing his education at the University of Belgrade (1949). He took a job as an editor in Belgrade, and in 1953 he published his first major verse collection, Kora (“Bark&rdquo. His other important work included Nepocin-polje (1956; “Field of No Rest&rdquo, Sporedno nebo (1968; “Secondary Heaven&rdquo, Uspravna zemlja (1972; Earth Erect), Vucja so (1975; “Wolf´s Salt&rdquo, and Od zlata jabuka (1958; The Golden Apple), an anthology of Serbian folk literature. His Collected Poems, 1943–76, a compilation in English translation, appeared in 1978, with an introduction by the British poet Ted Hughes.

 

source

 

one lovely example of his work:

 

A Forgetful Number by Vasko Popa
Once upon a time there was a number
Pure and round like the sun
But alone very much alone

It began to reckon with itself

It divided multiplied itself
It subtracted added itself
And remained always alone

It stopped reckoning with itself
And shut itself up in its round
And sunny purity

Outside were left the fiery
Traces of its reckoning

They began to chase each other through the dark
To divide when they should have multiplied themselves
To subtract when they should have added themselves

That´s what happens in the dark

And there was no one to ask it
To stop the traces
And to rub them out.

2.       catwoman
8933 posts
 07 Mar 2010 Sun 12:20 am

A Conceited Mistake

 

Once upon a time there was a mistake
So silly so small
That no one would even have noticed it

It couldn´t bear
To see itself to hear of itself

It invented all manner of things
Just to prove
that it didn´t really exist

It invented space
To put its proofs in
And time to keep its proofs
And the world to see its proofs

All it invented
Was not so silly
Nor so small
But was of course mistaken

Could it have been otherwise

 

 

 

---------------------------------------------

 

I really like this poet, and I´m not a poetry fan.

3.       slavica
814 posts
 07 Mar 2010 Sun 01:42 am

Thank you very much, Catwoman  {#emotions_dlg.flowers}

 

Vasko Popa was actually Romanian by nationality, but he was born and lived in Serbia and is considered one of the greatest Serbian poets. His poems have been translated into almost every European language.

 

Now let me add Turkish translations of poems that you chose.

 

Quoting catwoman

A Forgetful Number by Vasko Popa

Once upon a time there was a number
Pure and round like the sun
But alone very much alone

It began to reckon with itself

It divided multiplied itself
It subtracted added itself
And remained always alone

It stopped reckoning with itself
And shut itself up in its round
And sunny purity

Outside were left the fiery
Traces of its reckoning

They began to chase each other through the dark
To divide when they should have multiplied themselves
To subtract when they should have added themselves

That´s what happens in the dark

And there was no one to ask it
To stop the traces
And to rub them out.

 

 

Unutkan Bir Sayı

 

Bir zamanlar bir sayı vardı

Güneş gibi saf ve yuvarlak

Ama yalnızdı çok yalnız

 

Başladı kendini hesaplamaya

 

Böldü çarptı kendini

Çıkardı topladı kendini

Yalnız kaldı hep

 

Bıraktı kendini hesaplamayı

Hapsetti kendini kendi yuvarlağına

Ve güneşsi saflığına

 

Hesaplarının kızgın

İzleri dışarıda kaldılar

 

Başladılar birbirlerini karanlığa kovalamaya

Kendilerini çarpmaları gerekirken bölmeye

Kendilerini toplamaları gerekirken çıkarmaya

 

Karanlıkta olan buydu

 

Kimse yoktu ona

İzleri durdurup

Silmesini söyleyecek

 

 

(Çeviren: Baki Yiğit)

 

4.       slavica
814 posts
 07 Mar 2010 Sun 01:44 am

 

Quoting catwoman

A Conceited Mistake

 

Once upon a time there was a mistake
So silly so small
That no one would even have noticed it

It couldn´t bear
To see itself to hear of itself

It invented all manner of things
Just to prove
that it didn´t really exist

It invented space
To put its proofs in
And time to keep its proofs
And the world to see its proofs

All it invented
Was not so silly
Nor so small
But was of course mistaken

Could it have been otherwise

 


 

 

Kibirli Bir Yanlış

 

Bir zamanlar bir yanlış vardı

Öyle saçma öyle küçük

Kimse fark etmezdi bile onu

 

Dayanamadı yanlış kendini görmeye

Kendi hakkında söylenenleri duymaya

 

Çağırdı her şeyi

Hemen kanıtlamak için

Aslında var olmadığını

 

Uzayı buldu

İçine kanıtlarını koymak için

Zamanı buldu kanıtlarını saklamak için

Dünyayı buldu kanıtlarını görmek için

 

Tüm buldukları

Ne öyle saçma

Ne de öyle küçüktü

Ama yanlıştı elbette

 

Başka türlü olabilir miydi

 

 

(Çeviren: Baki Yiğit)

 

5.       slavica
814 posts
 07 Mar 2010 Sun 01:48 am

And here´s my choice:

 

GIVE ME BACK MY RAGS

Translated by Charles Simic

 

1

 

Give me back my rags

My raglets of pure dream

Of silken smiles

Striped premonition

And my lace-like sinews

My raglets of polka-dot hope

Of filigreed lust

Calico glances

And the skin off my face

Give me back my rags

I’m asking you nicely

 

 

 

Read the whole poem

 

 

Yamalarımı geriver

 

Ak düşlerden yamalarımı benim

ipekli gülüşlerden, çizgili kuşkulardan

dövmeli bileklerimden yamalarımı geriver

 

Benek benek umutlardan yamalarımı benim

isteklerden renk renk bakışlardan

yüzümün derisinden dövmeli yamalarımı geriver

 

Geriver yamalarımı

iyilikle söylüyorum geriver

 

 

Read more

 



Edited (3/7/2010) by slavica

6.       catwoman
8933 posts
 07 Mar 2010 Sun 01:54 am

Thank you Slavica for the Turkish translatons. I think I discovered my second favorite poet!

7.       slavica
814 posts
 07 Mar 2010 Sun 01:56 am

And some more of my favorites...

 

VI.

 

Get out of my walled infinity

Out of the star-ring round my head

Out of my mouthful of sun

Get out of the laughable sea of my blood

Out of my flow, of my ebb

Get out of my beached silence

Get out I said

Get out

Out of the chasm of my life

Of the stark father-tree inside me

Get out How long must I cry get out

Get out of my bursting head

Get out

Just get out

 

(Translated by Anthony Weir)

 

 

Poem no. 22 from the "Far Inside Us" collection

 

Our day is a green apple

Cut in half

I look at you

You don´t see me

There´s a blind sun between us

 

On the stairway

Our torn-apart hug

 

You call me

I don´t hear you

There´s deaf air between us

 

In the shop-windows

My lips seek

Your smile

 

On the crossroads

Our run-over kiss

 

I´ve given you a hand

You don´t feel it

The void has given you a hug

 

On the city squares

Your tear seeks

My eyes

 

In the evening my dead day

Meets your dead day

 

Only in a dream

Do we walk in the same fields

 

(Translatied by Lazar Pašćanović

 

 

WERE IT NOT FOR YOUR EYES

 

Were it not for your eyes

There wouldn´t be a sky

In our small apartment

 

Were it not for your laughter

Walls would never

Fade away in your eyes

 

Were it not for your nightingales

Willows would never

Gently cross your threshold

 

Were it not for your hands

The sun would never

Spend the night in our dreams

 

(Translated by: Slobodan Drenovac)

 

 



Edited (3/7/2010) by slavica

8.       slavica
814 posts
 07 Mar 2010 Sun 02:05 am

 

Quoting catwoman

Thank you Slavica for the Turkish translatons. I think I discovered my second favorite poet!

 

You are welcome {#emotions_dlg.flowers} I am really glad that you liked Popa´s poetry. I hope others will like it too

 

 

More Vasko Popa’s poetry in Turkish

 

More Vasko Popa’s poetry in English

 

9.       catwoman
8933 posts
 07 Mar 2010 Sun 02:40 am

Beautiful poems, thank you!

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