Tag Archives: Gezi Park

Poem 59 in Solidarity: Mappa tat-Turkija / Map of Turkey

by Antoine Cassar

Anatolia

Anatolia

Map of Turkey

Tongue of rugged silk, over
or under which harmonic vowels glide.
Arm and fist, clenched too tightly
for the Ottoman ring, now resting opposite,
hanging off the Balkan diamond.
Magic carpet, swirling amid the fig trees,
floating between the fairy chimneys,
rising above the tear gas
from city to city.
Continental drawbridge
over which Geōrgios and Nâzım
trade places and return.

Out of the fertile crescent, the Anatolian
mare trudges over Upper
Kurdistan, the Armenian
Highland, leaps over
the womb of the Euphrates, the source
of the Tigris, gallops
along the cattle-starred mountain chain, juts
her head out into the sea at sunset,
invites the waves
to caress the curve of her chin
and fizzle with the foam at her mouth.

Beware! From across the Dardanelles,
the butt, stock and barrel of a rifle
may soon plug one of her nostrils
spraying pepper into her pharnyx.

Beware! Burrowing through the acidic sands
and Volgoneft oil, the mole climbing
out of the Sea of Marmara
may soon poke her in the eye.

A bell rings in her throat,
at the Gulf of İskenderun
her neck itches under the halter.
Beware! A cough, however slight,
may shudder the land enough
to knock over the nargiles
in the old madrasa courtyards,
to cause the yoga students
and standing readers
to lose their balance,
to topple the makeshift libraries
at Gezi Park.

On the Bosphorus shore, amid the mist,
the Anatolian mare waits with hüzün.
Watches the foam-white gulls
follow the wake of the pontoon.
Watches the minarets pierce the clouds,
pining toward the sun in descent.
Watches the whirling dervishes
open up to the sky like orchids,
ready to be picked
by the scythe of the moon.

Beware! On the Bosphorus shore,
amid the mist, the Anatolian mare,
like a Trojan unicorn,
waits to sneak into the 21st-
century Ottoman palace
to cough her heart out,
shattering the boutique windows,
shattering the neon adverts,
shattering the global logos,
returning the park
and all its memories
to the people of İstanbul.

Mappa tat-Turkija

Ilsien tal-ħarir imħatteb, li fuqu
jew taħtu jiżolqu
b’armonija l-vokali.
Driegħ u ponn, issikkat wisq
għaċ-ċurkett Ottoman, mitluq biswitu,
imdendel mid-djamant Balkaniku.
Tapit imsaħħar, idur mas-siġar tat-tin,
iħuf bejn iċ-ċmieni fatati,
itir ‘il fuq mill-gass tad-dmugħ
minn belt għal belt.
Pont kontinentali mniżżel
li minnu Geōrgios u Nâzım
iparttu posthom u jirritornaw.

Minn ġol-minġel għammiel, id-debba
Anatoljana tgħaddi tħakwek
mill-Kurdistan ta’ Fuq, mill-Għoljiet
Armenji, taqbeż
ġuf l-Ewfrati, għajn
it-Tigris, tiġri
tul il-katina tal-muntanji
mkewkba bil-baqar, tixref rasha
għal fuq il-baħar ma’ nżul ix-xemx,
tistieden lill-mewġ
iħarħar mal-ħnejja ta’ geddumha
u jitfexfex mar-ragħwa ta’ ma’ fommha.

Ar’hemm! Mix-xaqliba l-oħra tad-Dardanelli,
iċ-ċipp, il-maqbad, u l-kanna ta’ xkubetta
għandhom mnejn isoddulha l-minfes
u jroxxulha l-bżar sal-qiegħ ta’ ħalqha.

Ar’hemm! Għaddejja tħaffer fl-irmiel aċidużi
u ż-żejt tal-Volgoneft, it-talpa tielgħa
minn ġol-Baħar ta’ Marmara
għandha mnejn tniggiżha f’għajnha.

Qanpiena ddoqq fi griżmejha,
fil-Kalanka ta’ İskenderun
taħt il-kappestru għonqha jħokk.
Ar’hemm! Sogħla, imqar ħafifa,
għandha mnejn theżżeż l-art biżżejjed
biex twaqqa’ n-nargiles
fil-btieħi tal-madrasas antiki,
biex ittellef il-bilanċ
tal-istudenti tal-yoga
u l-qarrejja weqfin,
biex iġġarraf il-libreriji spontanji
fil-Park ta’ Gezi.

Ma’ xatt il-Bosfru, ġoċ-ċpar,
id-debba Anatoljana
tinstenna bil-hüzün.
Tgħasses il-gawwi abjad ragħwa
jsegwi r-rima taċ-ċattra.
Tgħasses il-minaretti jinfdu s-sħab,
jixxennqu għax-xemx fi nżulha.
Tgħasses id-driewex iduru durella
jiftħu lejn is-sema donnhom orkidej,
lesti ħa jinqatgħu
minn minġel il-qamar.

Ar’hemm! Ma’ xatt il-Bosfru,
ġoċ-ċpar, id-debba Anatoljana,
bħal unikornu ta’ Trojja,
tistenna ħa tinfilza fil-palazz
Ottoman tas-seklu 21
biex tisgħol kemm tiflaħ qalbha,
tkisser il-vetrini tal-boutiques,
tkisser ir-riklami tan-neon,
tkisser il-logos globali,
trodd lura l-park
bit-tifkiriet kollha tiegħu
lin-nies ta’ İstanbul.

Antoine Cassar’s writes on his blog: “in admiration of the çapullers protesting the planned construction of an Ottoman-style shopping centre at Gezi Park, countering the tear gas and pepper spray with street theatre, yoga classes, and makeshift libraries, I translated Nâzım Hikmet’s Invitation into Maltese. The first stanza of Hikmet’s poem compares the Anatolian peninsula to the head of a mare galloping out of Asia. The poetic Map of Turkey above  is inspired by this cartographic image, and by the creative resistance of the çapullers of Gezi. (Read more about the Atlas project here.)  I wrote it simultaneously in Maltese and English, allowing the two languages to guide each other freely. They should be considered as equal originals. It’s an interesting dynamic; in the Maltese, the images seem to come across more vividly, and more physically, also with the help of alliteration, whereas the English helps me to simplify the rhythm and poetic logic.”

Antoine Cassar

Antoine Cassar

Antoine Cassar is a Maltese poet, translator, editor, and cultural organiser, and a creative activist for migrants’ rights and universal freedom of movement. Born in London to Maltese parents in 1978, Cassar grew up between England, Malta and Spain, and worked and studied in Italy, France and Luxembourg. One of Cassar’s most important poetic works to date, Passaport (2009), printed in the form of an anti-passport for all peoples and all landscapes, has been published and presented in eight languages, in a number of cities in Europe, Asia and North America, with profits donated to local associations providing assistance to refugees and asylum seekers in nine countries. Since March 2013, Antoine Cassar is the editor of Le monde n’est pas rond.

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Poem 46 In Solidarity:The Barbarians (Round Two) Hebrew,English, Turkish, French, Spanish, German, Greek, Japanese, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Chinese, Italian and Serbian.

by Amir Or

הַבַּרְבָּרִים: סִבּוּב שֵׁנִי

לֹא לַשָּׁוְא חִכִּינוּ לַבַּרְבָּרִים,
לֹא לַשָּׁוְא נִקְהַלְנוּ בְּכִכַּר הָעִיר.
לֹא לַשָּׁוְא עָטוּ גְּדוֹלֵינוּ אֶת בִּגְדֵי כְּבוֹדָם
וְשִׁנְּנוּ אֶת נְאוּמָם לִכְבוֹד הַמְּאֹרָע.
לֹא לַשָּׁוְא נִתַּצְנוּ מִקְדָּשֵׁינוּ
וּבָנִינוּ אֲחֵרִים לְאֵלֵיהֶם;
כַּדָּת שָׂרַפְנוּ אֶת סְפָרֵינוּ
אֲשֶׁר אֵין חֵפֶץ בָּם לָאֲנָשִׁים כָּאֵלֶּה.
כִּדְבַר הַנְּבוּאָה בָּאוּ הַבַּרְבָּרִים,
וְנָטְלוּ מִיַּד הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת מַפְתְּחוֹת הָעִיר.
אַךְ בְּבוֹאָם עָטוּ לְבוּשׁ כִּלְבוּשׁ הָאָרֶץ,
וּמִנְהָגָם הָיָה מִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה;
וְעֵת צִוּוּ עָלֵינוּ בִּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ,
לֹא יָדַעְנוּ עוֹד מָתַי
בָּאוּ הַבַּרְבָּרִים.

The Barbarians (Round Two)

It was not in vain that we awaited the barbarians,
it was not in vain that we gathered in the city square.
It was not in vain that our great ones put on their official robes
and rehearsed their speeches for the event.
It was not in vain that we smashed our temples
and erected new ones to their gods;
as proper we burnt our books
that have nothing in them for people like that.
As the prophesy foretold, the barbarians came
and took the keys to the city from the king’s hand.
But when they came they wore the garments of the land,
and their customs were the customs of the state;
and when they commanded us in our own tongue
we no longer knew when
the barbarians had come to us.

Tr: Vivian Eden

BARBARLAR (İKİNCİ TUR)

Nafile değildi barbarları beklememiz
Nafile değildi şehir merkezinde toplanmamız
Büyüklerimizin resmi giysilerini kuşanmaları
Ve tören konuşmalarını çalışmaları nafile değil
Tapınaklarımızı yıkıp onların Tanrıları için tapınaklar dikmemiz de nafile değil
Olması gerektiği gibi yaktık kitaplarımızı
İçlerinde böylesi insanlar için hiç bir şey bulunmayan kitaplarımızı
Sonra kahanetin duyurduğu gibi barbarlar geldi
Şehrin anahtarını aldılar ve kralın kellesini
Ama onlar gelince toprağın kumaşlarını kuşandılar
Ve adetleri bizim devletin adetleriydi
Ve ne zaman ki bizim dilimizde emrettiler
Hiç bilmedik ondan sonra
Barbarlar ne zaman gelmişti bize

Tr: Neshe Yashin

Les barbares (deuxième round)

Ce n’est pas pour rien que nous avons attendu les barbares,
ce n’est pas pour rien que nous nous sommes réunis sur la place.
Ce n’est pas pour rien que nos notables ont revêtu leurs robes officielles
et répété leurs discours en prévision de l’événement.
Ce n’est pas pour rien que nous avons démoli nos temples
et en avons érigé de nouveaux pour leurs dieux ;
tout comme nous avons brûlé avec raison nos livres
qui n’ont rien à dire à des gens comme ça.
Comme annoncé dans la prophétie les barbares sont venus,
et ont reçu les clés de la cité des mains du roi.
Mais quand ils sont venus ils ont endossé les vêtements locaux
et leurs mœurs sont devenues celles du pays ;
et quand ils nous commandèrent dans notre propre langue
nous ne sûmes plus jamais quand
les barbares étaient venus vers nous.

Tr: Aurelia Lassaque

Los Bárbaros (Segundo Round)

No fue en vano que esperáramos a los bárbaros
no fue en vano que nos reuniéramos en la plaza de la ciudad.
No fue en vano que nuestros grandes hombres lucieran sus trajes de gala
y que ensayaran sus discursos para la ocasión.
No fue en vano que destruyéramos nuestros templos
y que erigiéramos otros para sus dioses;
quemamos nuestros libros como era debido
ya que no ofrecían nada para ellos.
Como auguró la profecía, llegaron los bárbaros
y recibieron las llaves de la ciudad de las manos del rey.
Pero cuando llegaron se vistieron con las prendas de nuestra tierra,
y sus costumbres eran las costumbres del Estado;
cuando ellos nos dieron órdenes en nuestro idioma
ya no supimos cuándo habían llegado los bárbaros.

Tr: Karla Coreas

Die Barbaren, zweite Runde

Nicht umsonst warteten wir auf die Barbaren,
nicht umsonst versammelten wir uns am Hauptplatz.
Nicht umsonst kleideten sich unsere Honoratioren in ihre Ehrenkleider
und studierten ihre Rede anlässlich des Ereignisses.
Nicht umsonst zerstörten wir unsere Tempel
und bauten andre für ihre Götter;
dem Gebot nach verbrannten wir unsere Bücher,
in denen solche Menschen keinen Nutzen sehen.
Wie prophezeit kamen die Barbaren,
und nahmen von des Königs Hand die Stadtschlüssel.
Aber als sie kamen, trugen sie die Landeskleider,
und ihre Bräuche waren die Landesbräuche;
und als sie uns in unserer Sprache Befehle erteilten,
wussten wir nicht mehr, wann
die Barbaren gekommen waren.

Tr: Michael Sternheimer

Οι βάρβαροι (Δεύτερη φορά)

Τους βαρβάρους δεν τους περιμέναμε άδικα·
Στην αγορά δέ συναθροιστήκαμε άδικα.
Δεν ήταν άδικα που ύπατοι και πραίτορες τις τόγες φόρεσαν
και λόγους έγραψαν γι’αυτόν τον ερχομό.
Δεν ήταν άσκοπο που τους ναούς κατεδαφίσαμε,
άλλους, στους δικούς τους θεούς για να κτίσουμε,
κι ορθώς στις φλόγες ρίξαμε τα βιβλία μας,
που τίποτα δε γράφουνε γι’ανθρώπους σαν κι’αυτούς.
Όπως τό’χε πει η προφητεία, οι βάρβαροι ήλθαν
κι έλαβαν της πόλεως τα κλειδιά από τον αυτοκράτορα.
Όμως με το που ήλθαν, έβαλαν ενδύματα όπως της χώρας
κι οι συνήθειες τους ήσαν όμοιες μ’αυτές του τόπου·
κι όταν πια στη δική μας γλώσσα έδιναν τις διαταγές τους,
ούτε που ήξερε πλέον κανείς να πει, πότε
ήλθαν σε μας οι βάβαροι.

Tr: Tania Demetriou

アミール・オル

蛮人たち (第二ラウンド)

いたずらに蛮人どもを待ちはしなかった、
いたずらに町の広場に群れはしなかった。
いたずらに我らが長たちは爵衣をまとい
演説を練りあげはしなかった。
いたずらに寺を打ち壊して
蛮人どもの神の宮を築きはしなかった;
ああいう連中には無用な我らが書を
我らは手ずから、善きこととして焼いたのだ。
預言者の言葉どおり蛮人どもはやってきて
王の手から町の鍵をとりあげた。
だが彼らはやって来るや、この地の衣装をまとい、
彼らの習わしは国の習わしとなった;
そして我らが言葉で命令を発すると、
もうわからなくなる いつ
蛮人どもがやって来たのか。

Tr: Yuka Tsukagoshi

ВАРВАРИТЕ (ВТОРА РУНДА)Не беше попусто што ги чекавме варварите,
не беше попусто што се собравме на градскиот плоштад.
Не беше попусто што нашите првенци ги облекоа свечените рува
и ги вежбаа свечените говори подготвени за настанот.
Не беше попусто што си ги срушивме храмовите
и кренавме нови во чест на нивните богови.
Како што е редот, ги запаливме нашите книги
што не содржеа ништо за луѓе како нив.
Пророштвото се исполни и варварите стасаа,
ги зедоа градските клучеви од раката на царот.
Но штом стасаа тие се облекоа во градски рува,
обичаи им станаа обичаите на земјата,
а кога почнаа да ни заповедаат на нашиот јазик
повеќе не знаевме
кога тоа варварите стасале меѓу нас.

Tr: Хелена Берг и Фиона Сампсон

Barbarzyńcy (Runda Druga)

Nie na próżno czekaliśmy na barbarzyńców,
nie na próżno staliśmy na placu.
Nie na próżno nasi oratorzy nakładali togi,
pilnie ćwicząc stosowne przemowy.
Nie na próżno w gruzach legły świątynie,
by dać miejsce bogom, co przyjdą.
Słuszne było, że księgi spłonęły,
bo ich mądrość nie dla takich jak oni.
Jak głosili prorocy, barbarzyńcy przybyli,
a król wręczył im klucze do miasta.
A kiedy przybyli, oblekli się w szaty tej ziemi,
i obyczaj ich stał się majestatem prawa.
I gdy w naszym języku wydali rozkazy,
na wieki opuściła nas pamięć,
kiedy barbarzyńcy przybyli.

Tr: Beata Tarnowska

BARBARII (Runda a doua)

Nu în zadar am aşteptat barbarii,
nu în zadar ne-am adunat în piaţa cetăţii.
Nu în zadar şi-au vopsit mai marii noştri robele
nu în zadar şi-au pregatit discursurile dinainte.
Nu în zadar am distrus templele noastre
şi-am înălţat altele pentru zeii lor;
am ars, după cuviinţă, cărţile
în care nimic nu era scris pentru oameni ca ei.
Aşa cum spunea profeţia, barbarii au venit,
au luat din mâna regelui cheia cetăţii.
Dar cum au venit s-au îmbrăcat în veşmintele locului,
obiceele lor au fost ale acestei ţări;
apoi au rostit poruncile în limba noastră
şi atunci noi n-am mai ştiut
venirea barbarilor oare când să fi fost.

Tr:Ioana Ieronim

野蛮人/ 阿米尔•欧尔,蔡天新译

我们并非枉然地等待野蛮人,
也并非枉然地聚集在城市广场上。
长者们并非枉然地穿上长袍
演练起他们在仪式上的讲话。
我们并非枉然地捣毁自己的庙宇
为上帝竖立起新的庙宇;
我们有时也焚烧自己的书籍
它们对某些人来说毫无意义。
先知预言了野蛮人的到来,
从国王手中夺走城门的钥匙。
但是,当他们披上大地的服饰,
他们的习俗成为了盛大的习俗;
而当他们以我们的口吻下达命令
我们再也不知道什么时候
野蛮人已经来到我们中间。

TR: Cai Taxin

I barbari (secondo round)

Non abbiamo aspettato i barbari in vano
non ci siamo riuniti nelle piazze in vano.
I nostri grandi non hanno indossato i loro abiti ufficiali
e in vano hanno provato i loro discorsi per l’evento.
Non abbiamo mandato in frantumi i nostri templi
e in vano ne abbiamo eretto dei nuovi per i loro Dei;
come dovuto abbiamo bruciato i nostri libri
che non contenevano nulla per gente come quella.
Come predetto i barbari sono venuti,
e hanno preso le chiavi della città dalle mani del re.
Ma quando sono arrivati hanno indossato gli abiti locali,
e i loro costumi erano i costumi dello stato;
e quando ci hanno dato comandi nella nostra lingua
non sapevamo più quando da noi
i barbari fossero venuti.

Tr: Mena Savore

VARVARI (DRUGA RUNDA)
Nismo uzalud čekali varvare,
Nismo se uzalud okupili na gradskom trgu.
Nisu uzalud naši velikani odenuli odore
i uvežbavali govore za tu priliku.
Nismo uzalud srušili naše hramove
i podigli nove za njihove bogove;
spalivši usput sve naše knjige
jer u njima nema ničega za takve ljude.
U skladu sa proročanstvom, stigli su varvari
I uzeli ključeve grada iz kraljevih ruku.
Ali kada su došli, nosili su odeću iz ovih krajeva
I imali običaje iste kao što su naši;
a kada su počeli da zapovedaju na našem jeziku,
mi više nismo znali kada su
varvari došli kod nas.

Tr: David Albahari

Amir Or Photo: Gerald Zörner

Amir Or
Photo: Gerald Zörner

AMIR OR is the author of 11 volumes of poetry in Israel and 13 volumes in Europe and America. His poems have been published in more than 40 languages. He is the recipient of several poetry prizes, among them Levi Eshkol Prime Minister’s Prize, Fulbright Award for Writers, Bernstein Prize, and Oeneumi Poetry Prize.

Or has been awarded fellowships of the University of Iowa, the University of Oxford, and the Heinrich Boll Foundation among others. His translations into Hebrew, include The Gospel of Thomas and Anthology of Erotic Greek Poetry. For his translations he received the Minister of Culture Prize.

Or studied philosophy and comparative religion at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and lectured there on Ancient Greek Religion. He has taught creative writing in Israel, Europe and US. In 1990 he founded Helicon Society. He has been Editor-in-Chief of Helicon’s journal and poetry books and set up the Arabic-Hebrew Poetry School. Or is a member of the World Poetry Movement stirring committee and of the European Association of Writing Programs.

He serves as national coordinator of the U.N.-sponsored Poets for Peace and as national editor for the international poetry magazines Atlas and Blesok. He is editor of Catuv poetry series.

Poem 42 In Solidarity: In The Room

Vahe Arsen

In The Room

In the room there is only smoke
from a bullet. Rooms
are never complete. One room is
always hiding another room
and suggesting yet another.

A door being locked with a key
is flooded with happiness
and the rule of the rooms is over . . .
the rule is over . . .
is over . . .

That day people were running
after the bus,
dreaming about a good seat . . .

We moved to the morning lake
to soak our rage.
Exhaling creates ghosts;
breathing point-blank
can intersect a body
we are chilled . . .
people racing after the bus
and dreaming

as the familiar landscape retreats
and familiar faces become strangers,
become the same ghost escaping
and retreating . . .

those still running to catch the bus
and finding

the abandoned bridge changed
into an abandoned building flowered with grass.
The word burst its banks becoming
breath
a ghost
a movement

people running after the bus . . .

ice is our sickness,
chronic and incurable
a fever in the summer noon
a stone arch scuffed by wind
and the wind is the same ghost scoffing
severe
obscure

as people rush
to get the best seat
someday, somehow

In the room there is only the smoke of the bullet
hole. Rooms are never complete.
One room always hides another room.

Tr. Diana Der-Hovanessian and Vahe Arsen

Photo: Tineke de Lange Vahen Arsen

Photo: Tineke de Lange Vahen Arsen

Vahe Arsen (Arsenyan) was born in 1978, in Yerevan. He graduated and earned his Ph.D. in American and English literature from Yerevan State University. He is currently assistant Professor of the Chair of World literature at Yerevan State University. He also translates poetry from English and Russian into Armenian.

He has published two poetry collections in Armenian – The Flying Bicycle (2003), and The Return of the Green Gods (2007). The latter was published in the Netherlands in 2010, and also translated into Russian in 2011 under the title The Sun Express. Vahe’s poems are translated and published in the USA, Spain, Germany, Finland, Poland, Russia, Georgia, Tajikistan to name a few. He has been a member of the Writers Union of Armenia since 2004.

He has won numerous awards incuding the annual contest of International PEN (Yerevan, 2006), Poet of the Year (Irene Gyulnazarian Educational Fund, USA, 2006), a Special Diploma for ‘Innovation in Poetry’ (International Poetry Contest, Moscow, 2008) and ‘Jambe 2010,’ the annual award of Dutch poets (Netherlands, 2010).

Poem 41 In Solidarity: Superexposure II

by Jon Stone

Superexposure II

If a rain or blizzard rinsed our skulls
– every one of our skulls –
of their memory-algae,
jetwashed the crusted barnacles
that we call knowing,
and we came to our surroundings anew,
not sure of who belonged where
 
who would reoccupy the palaces
and sculpted monoliths,
who the vast marble foyers?
Who would nest in museums
and lovingly debrised libraries?
What skirmishes would be fought
over over-furnished bedrooms,
the wings of a stately home locked
in night-spanning negotiation?
Imagine the shifting territorial chart
governing former financial districts,
the settlements made
of various sprawling headquarters,
mapmakers working into morning.
 
I think we would go mad
 with how much there was to take.

Film still from 'Seven Samurais' Akira Kurosawa

Film still from ‘Seven Samurais’ Akira Kurosawa

JON STONE was born in Derby and currently lives in Whitechapel, London. He is the author the gothically-inclined pamphlet Scarecrows (Happenstance, 2010) and a full collection, School of Forgery (Salt, 2012), which was a Poetry Book Society recommendation. He is also the co-creator of Sidekick Books (www.drfulminare.com), who publish collaborative poetry projects and anthologies. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2012. His personal website is www.gojonstonego.com.