? by Orhan Veli Kanık

Why when I say harbour
Do cranes come to mind
And sails when I say open sea?

Cats when I say March
Workers when  I say rights
And why does the old miller
Blindly believe in God?

And why does rain fall slanted
In windy weather?

translated by George Messo

To Live by Orhan Veli Kanık

I

I know, it’s not easy to live,
To fall in love and sing to the one you love,
To stroll in starlight at night,
To warm yourself by the light of day,
To find time like this to meet
On Çamlıca Hill for half a day
–A thousand blues flowing from the Bosphorus–
To forget everything in these leagues of blue.

II

I know, it isn’t easy to live,
But there
A dead man’s bed is still warm,
Someone’s watch still ticks on his wrist.
Living isn’t easy, brothers,
But neither is dying.

It isn’t easy to leave this world.

translated by George Messo

That’s life by Orhan Veli Kanık

This house had a dog, curly
Called Dingdong–who curled up and died.
There was a cat too: Bluey,
She disappeared.
The daughter got married,
The son finished school.
All these bittersweet things
Happened in a year!
They all just happened like that . . .
That’s life.

translated by George Messo

From Another Hill by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı

I look at you from another hill, dear Istanbul!
I know you like back of my hand, and love you dearly.
Come, come sit on my heart’s throne as long as I live
Just to love a district of yours is worth a whole life.

There are many flourishing cities in the world.
But you’re the only one who creates enchanting beauty.
I say, he who has lived happily, in the longest dream,
Is he who spent his life in you, died in you, and was buried in you.

translated on the site All Poetry