Man by Cemal Süreya

A man came upon his hat on the street
Who knows whose hat it was
He did all he could to remember
Remembered a woman, white to the end
A woman opened the window all the way
A woman, who knows whose wife she was
He did all he could to remember.

The stars were like a ruckus on the sidewalk
As it has rained a little while ago
He was like a cloud, he remembered
Under the men’s feet
The stars existed as the stars
The man walked, stepping on the stars
Because it had just rained.

translated by Omer Kursat

Photograph by Cemal Süreya

Three persons at the bus stop
Man woman and child

His hands in his pockets
She holds the child’s hand

He is sad
As sad as sad songs

She is beautiful
As beautiful as beautiful memories

The child
As sad as beautiful memories
As beautiful as sad songs

translated by Omer Kursat

Rose by Cemal Süreya

I cry in the middle of the rose
Every night when I die in the middle of the street
I do not know my front or back
When I sense your eyes diminish in the dark
The eyes that keep me standing

I hold your hands, caress them till dawn
Your hands are white, white again and again
I am scared of your hands being this white
They are briefly a train at the station
I am a man who sometimes cannot find the station

I pick up the rose, brush it against my face
Had fallen on the street somehow
I break my arms, my wings
There is blood, a ruckus and music
And a new gypsy playing the horn

translated by Omer Kursat

Two Hearts by Cemal Süreya

The shortest path between two hearts:
Two arms
That reach out and every so often
Can only touch with fingertips.

I run to where the stairs are,
Waiting is time’s show of strength;
I cannot find you I’ve arrived too early
It’s as if a rehearsal is taking place.

Birds have flocked together migrating
I wish I loved you only for this.

translated by Omer Kursat

At The Afyon Train Station by Cemal Süreya

Remember the little girl at the Afyon train station, you know,
She had removed her shoes as she boarded the train;
Recall the Varto earthquake,
The carton of powdered milk and the bra
Sent as aid from the West.

The man had whitewashed his walls with the milk powder,
His wife had kept the bra, not knowing what it was
She was going to use them as earmuffs in winter;
My God, were these really your childhood days?

Crowds sitting outside on doorsteps
I wish I loved you only for this.

translated by Omer Kursat