İlhan Berk – Jet-Black

I wanted to post this at The Poemarium, which is dedicated to poems I find and like, in no special order. But since I always include the original for the poems there and so far have not been able to find the text of this poem as it was written in Turkish, I’ll put up the translation (by Önder Otçu ) here:

Jet- Black

One should describe you starting from your mouth
Youngster, your mouth is silk from China, conflagrations, a jet-black amber

Your mouth, a spring of ice-cold water, a general strike
A foolish sea throwing itself from one place to another

Your mouth is that kid who sells dark blue-winged birds in the Grand Bazaar
It’s a periodical titled Cornfield

These small, unpretentious rivers of ours are what your mouth is
Coming downhill along a narrow street every day into a little square

Your mouth is “Time in Bursa City,” shyly roofed flea markets
Night as written in the old Arabic

Kids, birds, summer times are all that your mouth is
Your mouth is a silken touch in my mind

(İlhan Berk, Manisa, 18 November 1918 – 28 August 2008)

(From EDA:An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish PoetryMurat Nemet-Nejat -edited by  Talisman House Publishers)

(See also: Selected Poems by Ilhan Berk

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