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I am listening to Istanbul -- Orhan Veli

Guest poem submitted by Isil Cinar:
(Poem #819) I am listening to Istanbul
 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
 At first there blows a gentle breeze
 And the leaves on the trees
 Softly flutter or sway;
 Out there, far away,
 The bells of water carriers incessantly ring;
 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
 Then suddenly birds fly by,
 Flocks of birds, high up, in a hue and cry
 While nets are drawn in the fishing grounds
 And a woman's feet begin to dabble in the water.
 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.
 The Grand Bazaar is serene and cool,
 A hubbub at the hub of the market,
 Mosque yards are brimful of pigeons,
 At the docks while hammers bang and clang
 Spring winds bear the smell of sweat;
 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
 Still giddy since bygone bacchanals,
 A seaside mansion with dingy boathouses is fast asleep,
 Amid the din and drone of southern winds, reposed,
 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.
 Now a dainty girl walks by on the sidewalk:
 Cusswords, tunes and songs, malapert remarks;
 Something falls on the ground out of her hand,
 It's a rose I guess.
 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.

 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed;
 A bird flutters round your skirt;
 I know your brow is moist with sweat
 And your lips are wet.
 A silver moon rises beyond the pine trees:
 I can sense it all in your heart's throbbing.
 I am listening to Istanbul, intent, my eyes closed.
-- Orhan Veli
Orhan Veli Kanik was born in 1914 in Istanbul, Turkey. He was the son of the
conductor of the Presidential Symphony and his younger brother was Adnan
Veli who was a famous writer. Adnan Veli was imprisoned for political
offense in 1949 but Orhan Veli was able to publish a literary journal,
Yaprak [Leaf], for 28 issues until a cerebral hemorrage ended his life.

Orhan Veli was more influenced by the sketch image of the Japanese haiku
than by any Turkish or even conventional Western poetic source. He once said
that we "must free ourselves from poetic conceptions and from the effort to
make the use of words beautiful". He broke the mold of classical and polite
Turkish verse and this action of him brought a new movement to Turkish
poetry. His free style and nihilistic world view always struck me. Orhan
Veli has always been the translator of my ideas with his poems.

In this poem, he describes a single day in Istanbul. If you live in Istanbul
you'd understand that there could be no other poem that could help you
picture Istanbul in your mind as well as this one. I'm moving to Dallas,
Texas next year as an exchange student, but I can certainly say that this
poem of Orhan Veli will be among the things that I'll carry with me, for
when I'm homesick for the city I love.

Isil.

[Minstrels Link]: poem #469

27 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Isil Çinar said...

Hey! So I have this poem that I seem to have posted on your website in the
year of 2001 and I want to remove it from your database and I'm not sure how
to do that. Can you help me with that? Even if the poem must remain on the
database, I'd at least like my first and last names not to come up when a
search is made.
Thanks,
Isil Cinar

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Excellent poem because that's something different most of time we can get poems related to the same thing I mean love, sex, but it is something totally different, because it's related with other sensations ans activities.m10m

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