Migration II by Orhan Veli Kanık

One can see trees
From his window.
And it rains during the day
Along the canal.
The moon comes up at night
And there is a Thursday market
In the square.
But he,
Perhaps it is exile, money,
Perhaps a letter,
He thinks of something else.

translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat

Migration I by Orhan Veli Kanık

From his window
Overlooking house tops
One could see the harbor
And church bells rang
Rang continuously on Sundays;
And at night
He could hear the train whistle
From his bed
At one o’clock;
And he began to love a girl
In the apartment
Across the street.
Despite all this
He left the place
And moved to another town.

translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat

“We Don’t know How To Say Goodbye. . .” by Anna Akhmatova

We don’t know how to say goodbye:
we wander on, shoulder to shoulder.
Already the sun is going down;
you’re moody, I am your shadow.

Let’s step inside a church and watch
baptisms, marriages, masses for the dead.
Why are we different from the rest?
Outdoors again, each of us turns his head.

Or else let’s sit in the graveyard
on the trampled snow, sighing to each other.
That stick in your hand is tracing mansions
in which we shall always be together.

translated by Stanley Kunitz with Max Hayward

Women: for JB

you say to the shot glass
have never been my forte
and the sadness settles in again
another shot
another wasted phone call
another long look at the printed page
life goes on
and you go with it
writing and reading and watching the young
and thinking
I must hold out longer
just a little longer
close your eyes
take a drink
then another
listen to the clouds drift by
fall asleep on the couch
and wake with the wind in your face
sometime near morning