The Daily Rose by Ceyhun Atuf Kansu

Unless they carry the news of spring days
All the newspapers had better be closed
And unless the type metal smells of rose
All the papers ought to come out blank.

He who knows not the rose should not govern;
No one should talk of social order and what not
If the people forsake the time of the rose
And abandon the sagging acacia to rot.

They are the only true friends of the seasons:
From heavenly gardens a grade-school girl descends
Holding the loveliest of orders in her hands
A red rose and a white rose.

Living is the oldest of all constitutions:
Blood is a rose, joy is a rose, love is a rose,
And bread is a rose awakened at daybreak;
So the headlines of daily papers should read:
Beam like a rose, laugh like a rose, be a rose.

translated by Talat S. Halman

Unsaid Love by Behçet Necatigil

You used to have a friend
About five years ago
I saw her yesterday
In the street. She was pleased.

Just there standing up
We said a few words.
She was married,
A girl and a boy.

She asked about you.
“He hasn’t changed a bit,”
I said. “As you knew him.”
She understood.

She was happy. Loved her husband.
They owned their house now.
Like a criminal, guilty,
She sent you her regards.

translatede by Murat Nemet-Nejat

from the Yüeh-Fu: At Fifteen I Went To War

At fifteen I went to war.
At eighty now I made it home.
Meeting one from my village:
“Who now is at home?”
“Over there is your house.”
Pines, cypresses, tombs in clusters.
Rabbits come and go from dog-holes.
Pheasants fly upon the beams.
Middle of court: wild grains rise.
Well’s edge: wild mallows grow.
Grind grains to make rice.
Pick mallows to make soup.
Rice and soup soon ready.
But for whom?
Go to the east gate to look out:
Tears drench my clothes.

translated by Wai-lim Yip