can yanıyor elbette…the hurt is immense, of course…


[Image Credit: Lover of Sadness]

gecelerin koynuna girerken

özlemine yaralarımı seriyorum

can yandıkça yanıyor

gündüzler ateş pahası…

while i slip to the bosom of the nights

i spread my scars upon the urge i have for you

the soul aches and aches

days are ablaze in their rarity… 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Written and translated to English on 6.26.2015

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…depicting the loss of a loved one to life in a poem draft…


“Kırık Kanat” was the title of it 

the first book i can remember our mom giving us

“Broken Wing”

about a family falling apart 

a bird with a broken wing seeking to extend its life 

on their one-room home’s only window’s ledge

at the ground level befitting their income’s edge

as if to enable the little beauty one more flight

i read it again and again 

have you by any chance ever

mom’s copy is with me

i kept it all along

would she cry as hard now if she knew

how miserably apart you and i grew 

her only two

i am different that is true

have walked the path of mess

hurting others though with no intent

honing learned flaws i’d rather live without

but no more than you

not even once have i aimed at loving you 

under this or that condition

i just loved




not anymore

the wing intact also broke from its core


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A painter’s view on nature

“The art of seeing nature is a thing almost as much to be acquired as the art of reading the Egyptian hieroglyphics.”

~ John Constable (1776-1837)


Fen Lane, East Bergholt ?1817 John Constable 1776-1837 Purchased with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), with additional assistance from Sir Edwin and Lady Manton and Tate Members in memory of Leslie Parris, Deputy Keeper British Collection and Senior Research Fellow Collections Division 1974-2000, and from the bequest of Alice Cooper Creed, 2002




[Credit for images: Wikipedia]

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Literary translation or butchering the dignity of a language?


In the following line pair, there is one word that places a serious challenge to a translation in English when loyalty to the expressed sentiment in the Turkish original is concerned, and that word is “can”:

neden bu kadar yanıyorsun ki, can?
seni kendine can görmemiş işte canan

hülya n. yılmaz, 7.14.2015

The short-cut I offer as my image selection is self-explanatory: there is intense pain involved. As for the sentiment of focus, it is nothing original. We have heard it many times before, perhaps even personally lived or are living through it at the moment: imbalanced love of romantic nature. To be somewhat more succinct: one of the involved persons having made a heavy emotional investment in it, while the other one has not. While all of this is too familiar to us, the particular diction is not. For in the English wording of “can” lies the literary translator’s dilemma.

I had posted the lines above on one of my social media platforms recently as you see from the original date showing, and was pleasantly surprised at the reaction they had received from Turkish readers. I thought about translating it to English based on the positive responses but never got around doing so until today. But first, I must visit the key word in question with you: “can” could be used in the meaning of “life, essence, soul, heart” and the likes, and with it, Turkish language users refer to a loved one – not at all exclusively to someone with whom they are romantically involved. However, it may be used as such. That is, if a writer or a speaker chooses to apply such meaning to it – as I do in the second line but not in the first. Also “canan” – a word derived from the same stem – is important to mention here. For it represents only the object of romantic love in the Turkish language. And I, in my line pair, make both compete with one another.

As a flavoring particle, “işte” can stand for “here, now, see, look” and the likes. Accordingly, my two line poetic attempt would have to sound something like this:

why are you burning so, oh heart?

you see,

the beloved has not found a beloved in you

You don’t like the sound of the translated version, do you? Neither do I! Because the outcome is nothing like the impact the original language is capable of leaving behind. Thanks to the different spelling between “can” and “canan” but also due to the hinted meaning of “can” as the heart of one’s self as well as the beloved him-/her-self.

So, I conclude – without a conclusion – by providing us an inner monolog option to conceive the intended sentiment as true to its origination mode as possible for today but – unfortunately – in far more mundane terms: Why are you suffering this much? Your beloved apparently did not find love in you.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Before I leave you with my thanks for your visit and good wishes for the rest of your Sunday and your new week, I would like to ask you a related question: Did you in your translation efforts run into similar situations where you not just knew but felt at the core of your being what the original statement intended for you to conceive as an emotion yet you couldn’t erect the cultural bridge for the sake of further understanding between different language users? On account of the deficiencies in one language or another or of a mere word?

I already look forward to any input you would be willing to give me with your comments and thank you in advance for your time.


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missing the primal id


i yearn to a burn for the original self

ache once again to come to life there

this time not for myself to torch my self

but for the waves to sear to death my sphere

to lull my cleansed eternal birth

upending the end to its final girth

as if to lay down to sleep the infant self


~ This poem was one of my three contributions for the upcoming August 2015 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly book series published by Inner Child Press, Ltd.

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…warring mentalities…

while dining with its kin and companions

the carcass-serving beast made a fatal mistake

it relied on its incurable lack of brain

hence it belittled you my peaceful child of love

concluding you will always remain infinitesimal

check mate


Photo Credit: Temple Illuminatus]

Together with two other poems, this one was published under the title of “pre-natal visions” in the July 2015 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly book series published by Inner Child Press, Ltd.

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…wanting to scream as were such act enough to stop the pain…








and other kings of vultures

are lulled to their eternal sleep

in their dens amid circles of doves

lambs cranes sloths deers and butterflies

compassion has reached the birth canal


[Credit for the Images: Summer Anne Burton at]

* This poem – here still in its raw version – will re-appear in An Aegean Breeze of Peace, a pending book of poetry, being currently co-authored by Dr. Demetrios Trifiatis (Greece) and myself (Turkey) to be published by Inner Child Press, Ltd.

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